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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  February 6, 2013 12:00pm-5:00pm EST

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perceptions of the sales tax or consumption taxes it will be easy to a minister. there is a role for the tax collector, and if you look at any state law you will see the car phone of exemptions, and they are as complex as some of those tax preferences we have in our code. discipline will be required on a consumption tax just as it would for an income-tax. ♪ a little bit. and that is the nature of accounting systems and how they influenced the development of tax policy. if i go all the way back to the history of conversion from a tariff to an income tax, what really makes this possible is the growth of the modern corporation or the modern business because they develop the accounting system, keep track of who has wages and for them to operate efficiently and need to keep track of it. that is the financial accounting that acquires them to keep track of income, and the government that is able to latch on to
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these accounting systems and really rely upon them to enforce code. in truth it is the large business, large charity, larger organization that is the main instrument for implementing a tax system, whenever you have, they're the ones that keep most of the records, also the ones that if they are large enough can do with the smaller ones can do which is keyed to sets of books because then there would not have the financial accounting to be so much that they could not allocate capitol well which is an important part of the reason why income taxes possible by the turn of the 20th century and despite the fact we had the civil war, does not work with small businesses. there is another accounting story. that is which relates to something everyone has talked a little bit about, the transfer system. so the tax cut the income tax cut. the consumption tax area, if you think about what we do in terms of facing a benefits of the texas cement phasing out and
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making his eligible for all of our peas number of transfer systems we allowing income commander at going to allow consumption among a million dollars in income but you only consumed 10,000, so we're trying to give you an earned income tax credit. so we still rely upon the income system have all but the notion begin abandon income accounting and simplify and purify the tax system in this transfer systems over here that no longer have the income accounting is not going to work. the accountable care act. it was helpful for welfare reform and tax reform all at once because their is a huge knew tax system on income imposed upon people getting a subsidy. another dollar of income and after lose another $0.9 of health benefit. the notion you can convert to a consumption tax and now worry about these other accounting issues is somewhat of a myth.
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>> straight out of joe's bucks i was struck. 1937 franklin roosevelt said the following. if congress passes the tax act in good faith in someone comes along into the aid of high-priced lawyers discovers new polls, is that the moral thing to do or not, even if it is illegal think? that is the big question. since 1937 and long before that politicians have been talking about duple closing has not just a valuable financial step but also as a moral question. now we are in the middle of having the same argument again but closing loopholes, so i would like to ask each of the panel is a little bit about this whole issue of the poll closing and how important it is to tax reform, both in terms of fairness and efficiency. >> you used the word new poll which is a charge toward.
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>> if you look at the facts expenditure which comes up depending upon how you counter that over chilean dollars a year and you looked at what they are, look at things like the exemption of employer contributions to health care and mortgage interest deductions and iras and 401k and these are worthy charitable deductions come from a don't think most people think of those things as the polls. these are policy choices that we made, and then maybe the wrong policy choices, but nonetheless, they are not opposed to men that did nothing that is what fdr had in mind when you made that statement. now, there obviously are loopholes. we talked about carried interest , that should be capital gain on ordinary income for. many others that can be identified, and i think that certainly that is something that for the stake of perceived fairness for economic equity and so forth that we should be going
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after. i don't think it is beautiful. think it is just probably unfortunate that people think that you should do that and sell the budget problem is very easy to demonize because it is not progressive. the benefit of wealthy, lucky people. that changes a lot after the war when the loopholes become hours and suddenly we don't really think of them as the polls anymore. that is my turn right to buy a house and subsidize it. i think that changes a lot trotting out malefactors has always been a key tool of tax politics. so in the early 1930's they
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bring wall street guys to testify on capitol hill because they were not paying income taxes. because they're taking huge losses when the market crashed this is our pay any taxes in the middle of the depression. ross suffering. that is intolerable, and enact changes to the tax system. politicians are usually pretty savvy about exporting loopholes to get the kind of tax reforms that they want, and nothing that goes on even now. new polls is just another word for other person's tax preferences. i think it is a powerful way of talking about a command puerile work we are not allowed to use the word loophole because it does not -- it destroys the whole thing. i think we need to grapple with the concept because americans are struggling with the tax
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system, and to some degree it is destructive for the vitality and survival of the tax system where people lose faith that the system is horizontal the equitable and also vertically equitable. they can lose faith in the whole system and that's a problem. >> economists always talk about. what is going on here than the see this environment changing in a fundamental way? >> what is confused as there are two issues. do you want a particular subsidy spending like aiden the you have got and do you wanted in the tax cut? actually, do you want the tax
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code in the budget cents and you want the irs to administer it? the first issue is whether you want the provision which seems to me as the same issue you have a threat spending treks spending. my action is the one item i do say. low income levels have given what is going on an income and to -- distribution. i don't like the budget accounting because it feels like it is a tax cut when it is equivalent to direct it expenditure, so it makes it easier to enact and we should recognize the same effects as the direct span the chair. most of the subsidies. i think the irs probably gets it administered as best they can.
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it largely relates to this budget accounting concept that it looks like a negative tax and therefore is not the same thing as larger -- it appears to be smaller government when is larger. it has to do with that scene, and i was not there, so you're getting in second-hand, but one of our friends, a deputy assistant secretary treasury in the clinton administration tells a story about killing and beating up with larry summers. the administration wanted to give money to subsidize school construction. if anything sounds like an expenditure item it is financing school construction, and the issue was that the tax paper said we really should add this to the tax code. larry summers was saying, the only way we can get it, they jiggered fancy school construction bond that was a deduction and all sorts of ways to make this a tax cut rather than a spending increase because
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they thought they could get it through congress that way. that is part of what is going on is this gaming of whether something is a spending and more tax cut leading to a lot of distortions which are separate from the issue over the you want to do the particular subsidy or the particular item in question. >> to you want to weigh in? >> in our annual report remade the complexity of the cut the number one most serious problem for taxpayers. we made the point that one person's loophole is another person's lifeline. it really just been some perspective you're an. one of the points we have been trying to make is that there is not enough money in the so-called loopholes, what people would define as the pulse of the very wealthy to the structural tax reform which is what we so profoundly need. we are the special interest. all of those tax expenditures that we love so dearly. we do need to do the kind of
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analysis, we recommended the kind of analysis that is being said, put everything on the table what is my personal mission is to try to get taxpayers to understand what is really happening to them in that cut. so few taxpayers could answer the question my marginal rate, septa rate to average rate. not raising rates, you know, when, in fact, it is creating a tiny little interval, much higher rate, and that lack of transparency just makes the code so top-heavy that it is going to ultimately fall and of itself from its own light. we are really sending -- spending a lot of time now thinking about, in my
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organization, out to communicate directly with taxpayers through social media and get them more aware of what the tax system is doing because i have given up in this bed we will have anything other than a political debate, going to that great issue or the size of government issue. what i want to do is get the taxpayers to start saying, wait. this makes no sense. let's talk about -- as i say, that is a don quixote kind of mission, but what else of i got to do? it is my job. >> to turn this over to you for questions, but i want to ask one more bottom-line question and go down the panelists. the you think that the income tax can generate the revenue we need to pay for the government we seem to want to iraq -- what?
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>> let me rephrase that a little bit. if you are asking major tax changes coming down the road and there in the form of fundamental reform or some sort of major addition to the tax system, i am not optimistic for the foreseeable future that we're going to see any of that. i don't, right now -- history teaches me this depressing lesson that tax reform is hard and infrequent and only happens when it has to, and i don't know that there is an imperative right now are quite yet that we do need a lot of money at some point. we're going to need more money. that is an abstract problem. i don't think congress will act until it is too late.
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i think down the road by strong this except -- suspected will have some sort of broad based consumption tax. a value added taxes and our future. a bunch of other reasons why you might want to do it. my sense if you go to value added tax or some other consumption tax as an add-on and you're talking about raising revenue and does not make sense unless you do that their rate eight or ten percentage points which is never really start, and i say that for reasons that have to go to me know which is that i think the left -- last time we looked at in treasury they have the numbers wrong, but you need
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irs personnel, so you don't want to do it in a low rate. that much administrative cost. better to do after -- go after a lot, even the ones that are popular with the public which could go a long way. another issue, talking about taxes sitting over year and implicit in your question is was happening with the government because to me the tax burden and the public is exactly the spending burden how. spending is 120. the future generations were scheduled to have a third of adults that is one of our support systems the more the
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taxes are going to have to support the structure. so as long as taxes have caught up with spending that will make is good to a consumption tax. i think you could live within a context. whether we would commit would cut back on the spending patterns in the tax code. i don't know. you have to adopt a value added tax. >> can income tax to the jobs still? >> i have a short answer. no. so i do want to say something about tax reform. i do think that a lot of ways the tax system could be made simpler, as simpler income tax and a complex business world but a lot of gratuitous and unnecessarily complex tax system that given the stalemate in
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politics this is a good sign to look at those issues which really should be non-partisan and that the on that should be coming from the tax-writing committee to the house and the members. i have reason to believe it might be starting in the interaction and that think there are a lot of good ideas.
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all you need to do to get a question is e-mail it to public affairs. that is all one word. let's start here. i ask you all to wait for the microphone and introduce ourselves and make your question the question. the gentleman in the back. >> yes. any evidence that the steep production in top marginal tax rates has reduced the propensity of high-income taxpayers to evade or avoid taxes? >> that sounds like one for you. what struck me is that evasion is constant throughout and
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throughout the history of the internal revenue code. i think that the things that make someone want to evade tax are multiple, and being a will to isolate out any one factor is very very difficult. any kind of constraints on them as a game the top rate being that constraint every joe has a different perspective or -- >> is very complex.
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>> lower. the reported distribution of income has become a lot less equal a musher is totally unrelated salary and bonuses and the offices. that sort of encourages or enables the tax rates being lower. they try to figure out more kinds of ways to structure their lives so that they think they are not taxable. >> to footnotes. it is fairly clear that when you lower the tax rate on capital gains people to realize more of those gains which is what eric is playing to, need to have more reckon it -- recognition of an
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canejo. unequal distribution of supply-side arguments. >> that is not a vision. it is a discretionary tax. the other foot note is to level out the avoidance, you tax items similarly. capital gains is taxed at the same rate as labour income, you have no incentive to switch. by the way, i think there is some aides -- avoidance. in those types of cases a few of the differences between tax differences you can remove release of this of ordnance and in some cases even some of the invasion.
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>> it seems to me that the biggest error in your to tax policies, legislative tax policy changes is the view held by one of our political parties that all tax expenditures are perce morally justified as allowing taxpayers to keep their own money. and they automatically shrink the size of the state which is perce good for both moral and economic reasons and that doing the same identical thing to the budget is immoral and wrong because it increases the size of the state's. um wondering whether the panel has any way that they know of in their own personal experience to explain to people that a tax expenditure, at least many of them, are simply spending.
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>> i just have to say, i think that everyone on the hill understands that. what they say to their constituents and what makes sense politically with a small pea is what you're saying. be appealing to other concerns that people have when you are testing it in the way that you're casting it. i think my growing up there and explain to someone on the hill, this is what it is, i just did not to buy talk about tax expenditures versus direct spending. >> added this happened? >> what i think has really changed here -- and the roots of this, they used to be a bipartisan consensus about what constituted a tax reform involving, generally speaking, a reduction in tax expenditures are tax preferences of any kind, and it truly was bipartisan.
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there were people out there protecting every popular deduction in every year, but at least the people sitting on the tax-writing committees in congress and the broader sort of tax community, it was very clear that if we could trade lower rates for a broader base, that was a pretty good deals. i think that consensus has broken down and the assumption no is that the broadening base element of a traditional tax reform equation has lost support particularly for republicans. it complicates the whole process of tax law making, and i think it makes traditional tax reform much less likely because back then back in the day i don't mean to romanticizes of all. there was at least an agreement that this would be a good sort of tax reform. many members of congress would simply reject the area out of hand.
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>> i second, it's only partial. if you think back in the broad history of taxation until the modern era, taxation laws of supporting public goods to my ways and police and fire call protection, and defense particularly. in that world there were the ways and means committee's word about how you pay for these things and the public goods are committees that dealt with where join to do a spending. it changes that transformation enormously. about giving things to individuals, often of an individual basis, your welfare check, your earned income credit in the text of, beverages, in the world there is a lot more giveaway. as a sanction the chair what is a tax and the transfer. an economist at texas a negative transfer becomes last stage will
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in in terms of the politics the ways and means committee say they give this money away. if you think about this division between the text weighs in committees and the spending committees, they do there transfers, create a dynamic. they both want to do it. you need to be santa claus and i get to be scrooge. we have not even solve that jurisdictional problem in congress of who wants to be the member of congress and it wants to be an elected official and you can give away the most. >> think of a better way to do it, i would like that. >> one of the things we have been taking a ride doing going back to my quest or whenever. there is a taxpayer recede on
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the white house website, but we have been thinking about building a very robust tax pair recede that they could go through and actually see, here are some of the giveaways that we have got. this amount of your income was not taxed. if you added that into your overall income, here's what your overall rate is. a little bit of reality check of what is happening within the internal revenue code and making it more real to individual taxpayers but the point in time, and i just feel like doing things like changing the debate a little bet, people will no longer be willing to accept some of these statements that coming out at face value. my retirement savings are not being taxed. what i put into retirement. that is income, but it is not being taxed. we don't have to think about that. >> time for one more question from the audience. yes, ma'am parks wait for the microphone.
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>> hello. does anyone on the panel have an opinion on whether not restructuring or reliving of the face of limitations interest deductions will have any impact or effect on minimizing the impact of a living student loan debt crisis? >> any ready? the question was -- >> removing or restructuring phase out limitations for the student loan interest and action which probably phases out at 65,000 foreign individual, whether or not the impact, whether or not restructuring and removing the face of limitations will have an effect on minimizing the so-called living student loan debt crisis that we face where people are going back to grant school to get jobs and incurring more in student loan debt. >> any thoughts on that specifically? may be more generally, this issue is an interesting one.
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you wanted just tackle the perverse effects of the hundreds of phaseouts of the tax cut? >> nothing more than if you think about it, income-tax for the people getting the benefit. aaron another dollar and lose $0.10. the earned income credit. all of them have signification -- i do want to work here. in cuts from 84 we were during the treasury study. this does not belong to a text of. tax expenditure and therefore we should eliminate. you actually cannot say that. a major tax reform, if you think about the trade-off you are allowed with in the ways and means committee you can trade off the tax expenditure for lower rates, but you cannot trade off the tax expenditure for a direct expenditure. probably stretching the idea, but warm way to deal with the student loan might be that
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during of any of this of the tax system, but it is hard to think about reforms we can trade off spending for interrupt spending which gets a little bit to bruces question as well. ..
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remarks and utah's governor and gary herbert he will talk about his states efforts reform health care. this is live coverage just getting underway on c-span2. >> even before the affordable kit act was passed or really being drafted had it in a pilot version. they continued on with that with some success, but there's been a bit of a back and forth between the state of utah and the department of health and human services and the obama administration as to what does or does not comply with the dictates of the affordable care act. the only state in a quandary, utah a little far advance, something on the ground and in a few. in shortly governor herbert will be talking not only about the utah exchange but also places in
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the larger context of what should represent the innovative and effective state-led health policy reform. he will also talk a little bit about utah's approach to medicaid reform and the difficult process trying to get the federal government to buy more flexibility the states. the state utah's overall leadership in promoting market-based patient-centered health care. some of you may recall last month and not widely reported sure, the obama administration actually decided once again to if you can change the product you can change the name. so they decided in the mr. jindal there were no longer be called health exchanges but they would now forth with be called health marketplace. marketplaces -- the official explanation for the was there was because the word exchange could not be translated into the spanish language with all the millions of hispanic beneficiaries potentially under the exchange, they just wouldn't know what it meant to be health
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exchange are as opposed to health markopolos. i want to be helpful in this regard, so we can at least try to provide some additional terms for this beginning of the obamacare picture to get the terms right. we started with the insurance exchange and then, of course, it's now called an insurance marketplace. this and other terms in the law. tax. there's a new suggestion for different -- this is translated into spanish that i won't include my bad accent upon you but that's a new term for it under the affordable care act. donation. [laughter] another term in the law, mandate. that's been translated come to an improve approved for our hisc beneficiaries, suggesting. we've got a couple other terms in the law. community rating. sounds a little exotic but it can be translated into something you can understand in spanish. the young pay more. partnership.
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we hear a lot about partnerships. spanish translation, you take the blame. for the state your medicare savings, very complicated budgetary arithmetic year. spanish term for that, double counting. i look for some other terms in the affordable care act which did administration has got wretched we translating, one more. premium reductions. spanish, the sky is the limit in terms of increasing those premiums. these are some the terms where you couldn't quite find the translation not only in the affordable care act, not only in the spanish dictionary, couldn't even find in a plain english dictionary. market prices, nowhere to be found within the law. this is another hard-won. compulsory choice. you can try. it doesn't quite show of the most common dictionaries. there's another question now which is what is the chances of successful implementation. that translates as, when pigs
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fly. maxwell, brought out of the retirement, a better gig with the geico buddies willing to come out to take a look here. so we come at a crucial moment in health policy deciding how the implementation of the affordable care act is going to occur, whether states will have a clear partnership role or subservient role in what exchanges in medicaid reform look like. and with a fork in the road you always have to make sure that you take one of them. so that's where we are at the moment. let me speak to governor herbert, he was a good sport about all this. he is the 19th -- 17th governor of utah, been in office since 2009, reelected last fall, currently serves as chair of the western association. he's on the executive committee of the national governors association, workforce committee of the nga come in before becoming the state's chief
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executive, governor gary herbert served as lieutenant governor for five years. he's been in washington this week having some wonderful conversations with federal officials in the administration regarding the future of his states health exchange, marketplace, whatever you want to talk about. but it's not having to come its hafle. we will see base about the early ratings what that might mean for future. today's presentation is brought to you by the letter h. governor gary herbert. [applause] >> well, thank you, tom. for that warm introduction. [inaudible] >> i am honored to be here at the american enterprise institute.
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[inaudible] certainly we recognize the great economy -- in helping us with development of policy and understanding of what's taking place, particularly here in washington, d.c. so thanks to you and thanks witr the invitation to come here and speak. we're going to talk a little bit about health care today, and maybe from a utah perspective, in my view of the world when it comes to health care. it's a complicated topic. it's certainly an important topic, and i know health care has been on the lips of many, watercooler topics it may be. i know i've heard the story of the poor country surgeons in utah talking about health care in the got into the conversation of who is the easiest person to operate on? and the one doctor says i can tell you a decent people operate on are really mathematicians. when asked why mathematicians, when you open them up and take
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them apart, all their parts are numbered. so very easy to reassemble. one to one, two to two and so. and easier category of mathematicians are librarians. why librarians? when we take them apart they are alphabetized, only 26 letters. much simpler design, easy to reassemble. the third doctor said i know a better category to operate on, and those are mechanics. why mechanics? well, they understand if you don't get finish quite on target and if there's an excess part, that doesn't cost them too much concern either. and the last doctor says, i can tell you by far the easiest people to operate on our politicians. when asked why politicians, well, you open them up come to find out they have no heart and no spine and no guts -- [laughter] and thei their head and the rean our interchangeable.
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[laughter] i think it probably defines a look at some of the challenge we face in the developed policy or and our politicians generally understand what's taking place out there in the marketplace. let me just talk about health care if i could and what we're doing in utah and why we have done it and why we think it's going to at least an approach that we would like to have other people take look at. let me just our by telling a story of a small business in my hometown of american fork, utah. owned by a fellow by the name of rod martin called world-class auto. and there is 10 employees, as is happened in many employees -- people since the passage of the affordable care act, premiums have gone up, and he is a businessperson, was unable not to continue to pay for that benefit package to his employees. and so the concern was what to do. he came across utah health
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exchange and found it is able to define how much you would pay as a businessperson because it has a defined contribution as opposed to a defined benefit. he also found that he was able to have his employees, the 10 employees, go out there and shop through the portal defining individualized, customized land uniquely suited for them. not a one size fits all, but one they could shop in all 10 defined 10 different kinds of programs for his employees. and in doing so he introduced this process introduce competition so they could have people applied for their dollars by the consumers will be controlling and spending. and the good news is he's able to provide affordable options for his employees can for himself as a business leader, ma and still provide them with the benefit package that includes some health care reform. it was clearly a win-win
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approach. that is the example of what we have provided in utah in the utah health care exchange your again, i think health care has been, it's complicated, it's using, and i'm not sure we have defined the debate very well as we set this up in the beginning of president obama's term. i say that meaning that i expect it would talk about what health care reform means to reach of this year, we might find different answers. something that health care reform has to do with access. some would think health care ought to be focused on quality, better quality. some would say health care ought to be focused on the cost or the rising cost. what can we do to obtain costs? and would like to kind of concentrate on today is what's happening here in the state, and particularly some of the costs issues. that we face here as a country.
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there's no question that health care has been rising in many different ways. costs bob lee are being put upon us -- costs are probably been put on us for a variety of reasons. we got involved because like me around the country, the rising cost of health care was making it tough for businesses and for governments to pay the benefit cost, the rising cost of premiums. we found out by serving the people of utah that 70% of those who did not have insurance blinded on the rising cost of premiums. they couldn't afford it. and so, and since we want to find a what could we do to, in fact, how, contain costs, the question though is what are the principles that we're going to follow. i'm a believer in free markets. i believe, no matter what the issue is, the goods or service you want to talk about, historical we found that if you want of the most benefit, the
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best quality of goods and service, for the most people at the lowest cost that happens in a free market situation. a free market competition. and i don't know exactly why this we think somehow an exception to that rule would be health care. will come in utah we believe that ought to be part of the. we want to give consumers choice. we want to give them information so they have informed choice. and free market competition at their to the marketplace by innovation and find solutions to the problems that the marketplace defines. and that's what we've tried to do with our health care exchange in utah. i think the concern that for many of us, and utah is no different than the rest of the country from the standpoint it seems to be too many people for a variety of reasons that don't have health care, access to health care, and in our state
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with some where around 12 to 13% that didn't have it, and that has ramifications on the marketplace. we'll know that if you don't have health care, you probably aa treatment, prevented issues, and the cost eventually is even more expensive. too many people go to the emergency room, and as their initial introduction, some kind of health care, and that is usually charitable care which then the cost of that gets passed onto the rest of us here, and we paid in either higher health care cost, the hospital or doctor's office, growing premiums. let me just say parenthetically here, too, that i think the affordable care act does not address the rising costs. i think all it does is address who is going to pay the rising costs. and i think it's been
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shortsighted, thinking that somehow that will solve some of our health care problems because we're going to find somebody else to pay for these rising costs. we got to focus i think, and that's a discussion for another day, what we can do to reduce the cost from the provider, to lower the cost when we need the doctor and the surgery and hospital, and those things. our premiums were rising in utah at a dramatic rate. and our premiums are going up seven times what they have an effect doubled over the past eight years, our premiums before we started into this health care reform. and so we wanted in fact put the consumer back in charge but it was interesting for me to find out that in 1960, the consumer spent about 70% of their own money on health care. so they have some supplements, they have some help of about 30% whether from insurance or other means, but 70% of the cost was borne by the consumer
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themselves. today, that's just flipped. they made put up to about 30%, but not 7% is covered by someone else. -- 70% of the clearly it's human nature, when people are not spending their own money, they are less conscientious of how they spend it. they don't shop. you are paying for it. if you're going to the grocery store i'm going to get more state, probably a lot less hamburger. and we've seen that happen and that's a good shooting part to the escalating cost of health care. our system has this disconnect between health care providers, consumers and insurers. because of that, the rising cost, more and more businesses spirals downwards, are dropping as the benefit health care coverage, and fewer are covered and more are uncovered it and in utah, we have currently only about 45% of our businesses that
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are providing health care as a benefit to their employees. so again, what to do and how to do it. the philosophy we have, again goes back to free market principles. we believe in invisible hand of the marketplace funding solutions, rather than the heavy hand of government, command-and-control and will pick winners and losers and tell you what to do and how to do it. we want to have a process that is consumer driven, that provides greater choice, better access, and had the consumer in charge of the dollars. and that will ultimately improve the health care of the people. i think sometimes as a debate we forget this is really about people and their health care, and their outcomes. utah has done a pretty good job up till now in providing a good, quality, healthy lifestyle. we have longevity. we've always been rated as one of the healthiest states in
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america eric we have currently in place with our system that we'vwehave had come the lowest t health care in america. and we have waited about the fifth or sixth highest quality of life. so for a lot of us in utah, it's something that's not really broken. and that we're going to be forced to kind of fix a problem that is minimal in utah compared to, say, other parts of the country. and we think that's again a wrongheaded thing. uniqueness of each states ought to be accounted for in our approach on health care reform. we've put together what we think are a clearly defined principles and goals of what we're trying to do. i'd like to ask one last one along with a free market principles containing costs and consumer choice and information. you ought to be a compassionate part of this. and ensure that there's a safety net for those who really need some help.
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again, i think as george w. bush said, i'm a compassionate consumer. what i don't always believe in is in the in is in a compassionate there has to be a government program to exhibit the compassion. charitable care, ma civic organizations, neighbor to neighbor. we have the highest percentage of volunteers and in utah that we have in america. our faith-based organizations our churches, again opportunity to provide safety net issues. and i think government has a role in that, but it ought to be one that is limited. but we are to exhibit compassion and understanding, and again, understand we're dealing with people and want to have appropriate outcomes for them. when we formed the health care exchange, we have some key components that without which contribute to the success. some of the uniqueness of our health care exchange has been mentioned, we have a defined contribution. most have defined benefits, we,
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by law, and put in place the ability to have a defined contribution to actually fix the amount of money going to give, and you know now with certainty what the future will bring as far as your cost if you're an employer. so defined contribution. we've also we moved by legislation the insurance coverage mandates. and we have said that insurance copies are free to provide whatever options they want out there. consumers are free to choose. we're not mandating you have to cover this situation on this clinical problem our this disease. that's something we want the marketplace to embrace, and have the freedom to provide whatever product they want, which certainly increases and allows for more choice for the consumer. we also wanted to have a portal where people could go where we can find information. and so we have created this health care exchange, a consumer-based health insurance portal that you go to to get
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information. in doing this we wanted to introduce competition. again, as we go out and shop and compare, people will compete and by for our consumer dollars. again, that helps to compete better products on the market at lower cost. that competitive aspect of free markets. you know, is something that ought not to be lost in this overall effort to provide better health care and have health care reform. last but not least, the use of technology. we have the ability to share information with technology that we have today with our computers and internet, having databases where we can share information with doctors and hospitals. again, keep the cost down and make sure that the consumer has good information, thorough information and make the choice. this empowers the consumer, which is i think what we all
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probably appreciate. and, frankly, at the end of the day i trust the consumer to make the decisions that are in the best interest of them. we have too much of a government mentality that thinks well, we know best. we need to choose for you. because you may make the wrong decision. and i think that's just wrongheaded. so let me just conclude this part by saying that what i'm talking about in utah here is a way of addressing this reform. it may not be the way. other states have different demographics. we have a young population in utah, we're the youngest of in america. our meeting age is only 29.2 here's a picture i'm the oldest guy in utah. [laughter] but if you compare our demographics to, say of florida which has a lot more seniors, their health care needs would be different from health care needs of utah. and there ought to be some reflection in that in what we
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provide as options in the marketplace out there. but i do believe that the focus we've had a principles on principles and efforts that can be emulated and copied by other states. and so it doesn't matter where you're at. i think those principles of free markets and competition are free choice putting the consumer in charge of spending their money our principles about to be embraced no matter what state you're in. let me just tell you of an example of what this is done now, once we put this in place. we have a company called levitt part of, the ceo is a fellow by the name of mike levin. some of you know my, former governor of utah and former secretary of hhs here in the bush years, has a company called levin part of a video which is which making. and they again are growing, fledging young company that has
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10 or 15 employees, were faced with this rising premium costs with their insurance cover. and so they found that a 22% jump in just virtually one month the nose but what the premium was less you, now 22% jump. that was a significant problem for them and for their budget. so they looked into the utah health exchange and found out that have some options there and went to their employees and said, we don't want to pay this 22% increase. we will pay something less but will give you a difference of what we have paid this past year. how much we put into premiums will give to you to spend, plus a cash bonus of this excess. and then they introduce the exchange what they found out is with the competition, with the consumer in charge denied individualized insurance programs that they could pick from, about 135 different programs that were available
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through the portal, and it again proved out to be a win-win for the business and a win-win for the consumer, and having ache in good health care coverage, and keeping costs from escalating to a company would be forced to drop a. i mentioned mike because of probably nobody that knows more about health care in a system that's taken place in america than our former governor, mike levin. he was raised in an insurance family. his father was a very successful businessman in insurance. and his expense the os governor but as secretary of hhs gives him a perspective. and his embracement of our exchange i think tells us others that were on the right track here when it comes to health care coverage. now, we are in our infancy, and the utah health care exchange is not as robust as i think it's capable of being. part of that has been because of the uncertainty out there in the marketplace.
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and we know that with uncertainty, people are little bit hesitant to take action. the uncertainty that comes in really to areas. what is happening in washington, d.c., which is uncertain serving on the fiscal side under the issues, and causes is concerned about how that's going to impact the marketplace. but the uncertainty of the affordable care act, again, we've been dealing with this for two and a half years, asking questions, not getting to find answers, find easy answers can be given to us because they don't know what the answers are. they will analyze the legal aspects of it, see if it lines up with administration and what their thoughts process of her prodigious craze a lot of confusion and uncertainty in the marketplace. now with what's taken place though, you know, we have got answers to at least was taking place. we know that the affordable care act is here to stay. we were a state that didn't like
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the affordable care act, and we were one of those that challenged in court. we thought the supreme court would come down on our side, and in violation of the commerce clause. we didn't recognize this going to be kind of a bait and switch an argument at the supreme court, but we lost there. we hope that the election would turn out a bit differently. again, mr. romney being kind of a favorite adopted son of utah was certainly our champion your we knew he was going to do some efforts to repeal obamacare in the affordable care act. but we now are to the point where, like it or not, the affordable care act act is the law of the land. and utah is prepared to participate in that effort. and we believe that our exchange is one that has a role to play. in the current situation. by the way, the contributions that are employers make him into this defined contribution varies
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from zero, not any contribution, still have access to the portal and access to the programs if you join up, and the people use their own money to buy, what have access, to $2000 a month. and the average is about $437 as a contribution that was given to this. it again, i think it has the potential to grow dramatically. interestingly enough, about a third of the people who join our exchange now, our companies that previously did not provide insurance to their employees to so they're finding a way that they can afford it, and it fits in with their business model, and provides benefit package that is again the proverbial win-win. as i start whining this down, take some time for questions or in a few minutes. i think we have a hard time talking about health care reform
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without addressing the affordable care act. and i do this advisedly, you know, it is the law of the will land i don't want to sound too majority that something i didn't support, but i think the process was flawed. if we look back and look at how we got to where we are today, the process was flawed. if you have a flawed process should harder time getting a good outcome. one that i've been critical about is that in this process, nobody ever came and said to the governors in the states, what do you think about the affordable care act? you're going to be the most dramatically improve government entity in the country, what are your suggestions, what are your criticisms? what are your insights? i think that was a big, big mistake, and oversight of not inviting the governors to the
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table. and i think we could have given them some insight and some suggestions to make it better. if they had done. secondly, i think that the fact that we dropped 2700 pages on the congress and said we're going to vote on this in three days, you know, it's just not the white way to process data, particularly as competent as those 27 pages are. and i think the statement which will go down in legislative history, probably not for good, and was speaker pelosi saying we've got to pass this bill to find out what's in it. i think all of us recognize that's just not good process. and it's now spot hundreds of thousands of pages of regulation, which is still being sought through to find out what does this really mean. at how is it going to be applied to the states but and i think we have just a boondoggle of
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problem that is going to be a challenge for us. i guess at the end of the day for us in utah, and probably for other states right now, they are struggling with the same thing, how is our approach, how is it going to operate in what we call an ac a world today? how do we fit in with the law of the land? and you know, our exchange, we have now named avenue h., and it's not for alan herbert, but it's just to distinguish between the federal exchange, talk about the exchanges of nomenclature here, but the exchanges in many ways as kind of taken on a negative connotation, and yet the idea of a connector of ability to facilitate people's choices is a good idea. so our exchange is fundamental for then those envisioned by the aca. one, we focus on business, on small business. working through them to provide access to their employees on an
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individual basis, but to the business community. and get people enrolled in private insurance. our exchange interests with enough only has five employees. yet the total cost for what we do on an annual basis is about $600,000 a year. so we're not spending a lot of money on this process. letting private sector do the work and we are kind of their infancy so we have the ability to expand, but we have a passive administrator process which means we let the market make the decisions. we let the consumer make the decisions. we facilitate opportunities, and that's all that we can. by contrast, the aca exchange is based more on a massachusetts model. they focus on large businesses and individuals. they have a mandate that they're dealing with, and they provide taxpayer subsidy 4908% of all the people that participate in their exchange.
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they have dozens of employees. i me, the size is massive and they spent tens of millions of dollars to operate it. so the contrast is pretty stark as you can see. they also have an active and the minister approach would actually pick and say, this will be acceptable, and this will not. they don't just let a free for all free market approach. they identify and pick who gets to be in the exchange. i do believe this effective health care reform cannot be a one size fits all. states are unique. the uniqueness is exhibited in each state, each region, so each state ought to have the ability to pay their health care solutions to reflect their own unique and specific needs. again, the one size fits all mentality comes out of washington, d.c. is putting us
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on a wrong road. now, our proposal we're making them and i was just tired, this is been kind of a work in progress. some of it is out in the market place but some of it's not. we're going to at fort hood to be a limit of what we're trying to do with her own exchange but under the confines of the affordable care act and the law of the land. and we're committed to work with them, those confines. like it or not that is the law. but the are what we call red lines that we will not cross over as a state. it's our exchange. we have a right to run it how we see fit. we are not taking federal money. there are no strings. it's our exchange. and so we are saying that the things that we won't do, one can we won't enforce the individual mandate. even though the supreme court has ruled that is constitutional, we still think it's bad policy. for a number of reasons. so, we are not going to enforce
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the individual mandates. and at every stage have the option to determine for themselves if they mandate makes sense. but this state, utah, has decided that's not the right thing and, frankly, i don't want to be on the receiving end of phone calls which i believe will happen of individuals will say, hey, i'm getting a call from the irs. they want my tax money. used to refer to as maybe a penalty, but because i haven't signed up for the insurance program. second, we would not administer medicaid for utah's health exchange. we want to maintain a clear separation between an approach and the private sector, and providing opportunities and the private sector as opposed to a welfare-based system. not that they are not an important aspect of it but we think there should be a clear separation between those two approaches. we want our exchange to remain focused on the core mission of creating competition and choice
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in the insurance marketplace. those who are in need, again, we recognize our people out there that have access on the right and the need them and medicaid is maybe one of the answers, but what should be done separately and not by our exchange. third, utah will not administer the premium tax credits to our exchange. there's a number of reasons why we decided not to do that. one, we pride of cells in utah on being fiscally prudent. and i wish washington had that same pride which they certainly don't have, being fiscally prudent. where only one of seven states in america that has a aaa bond rating from the rating agencies on honesty which tells a lot about utah, tells us a lot about what is going on in the country, unfortunately. given the fiscal uncertainty here in washington, d.c., much of it created by a growing
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anti-but mentality, adding another level of entitlements doesn't seem to me, and to the people utah, to be fiscally prudent thing to do. when we're already borrowing 40 cents of every dollar that we spend, in larg large part becauf his growing entitlement mentality we have in the country. i think this becomes a very risky proposition as we go forward. so i don't know how much is going to end up costing the item in windows how much this is going to cost us at the end. i do know that the promise given in its original presentation by the president was it will cost us about $900 billion. today, the cbo estimates that is gone from 900 billion the 2.7 trillion today. now, it's tripled three times, and we are just starting to come in, who knows where it's going to go? and if we look at the social security, we look at medicare,
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we look at medicaid, history says these are going to explode and become a lot more costly as we go forward. i shudder to think what the fiscal ramifications this will be going forward. so, last again, i'm concerned about the insurance costs are going to skyrocket as part of this. that promise again given to us, the hope was that premiums are going to go down. in fact, the number was like $2500. and yet what we've found is premiums have gone up by $2500. that's a $5000 swing sense, you know, the concept was proposed and the reality of today. we are a state i've mentioned as young and healthy. estimates are that are cost of premiums in utah under the affordable care act will go up by about 100%. anywhere from 65% on the low
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100% on the high. because those were young and healthy will have to be part of april and have to have a higher burden to take care of others that are going to be brought into the overall pool here in the country. so that price shot that we're going to face in utah is again a concern for all of us. and i think unfortunately it could be a problem. so in an effort to manage those risks and to live by the law, i've done things to manage that. and at least to see if we can't give another option out there for the people of utah band exists currently in proposal. to that end i sent a letter to president obama and asked them to take a look at our exchange and to certify its compliance under the aca. then i sent a letter to secretary sebelius, basically outlined the same thing, saying with a good eighth african we started way before this ever became a discussion topic in washington, it would like to be able to continue maintain our
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state exchange. yesterday, i had the opportunity to meet with senators sebelius and let her know that utah's exchange is going to continue. we will do what we think we ought to be doing and health care reform as a business oriented exchange, as i suggested to her that we bifurcate response those under the affordable care act. so utah will continue to operate as small business exchange and retain oversight of the insurance markets within utah. two, we will also retain a control over medicaid eligibility system and make the final determination a source who is eligible for medicaid, including chip, and user existing system to do that. we would respectfully say to the is department of health and human services that they assume the responsibility of the individual exchange. and that includes the website
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portal for individuals. that would include the navigator program, and that would include administering the tax credits. further, we would say that because utah has doing the business portion of the business, that there is no need to have a federal exchange doing the business. so we have a clear line of demarcation. we're going to do the business. the federal government will do the individual side of this, and see if we cannot in fact coexist peacefully here and provide that to the marketplace. clearly there some details yet to be worked out, and putting this together and making sure that we're doing this in an appropriate way. but i was gratified and encouraged when i met with secretary sebelius yesterday that they seem to be willing to entertain the idea and the concept, and to look at it and see if there's not something
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that we can agree upon and do in this. in fact, the phrase she used was i'd like to find a way to get to yes. so i'm cautiously optimistic. we still other ways to go and will be meeting with them in the next couple of weeks to see if we can, in fact, bring resolution and closure to this issue. now, last but not least let me just say this. and i would expect that all governors in all states could say this with me. one, i'm committed to health care reform. i think it's something that needs to be addressed. not to be republican versus democrat, liberal versus conservative we all ought to appreciate that we need to do and can do things better in the health care arena to, in fact, improve health care outcomes for our people. i'm a free market guy. i'm a known friedman category economist, and believe in the free market system. we, in fact, are doing in utah
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on an annual basis a health care summit where we bring all the stakeholders together. doctors, nurses, practitioners as most insurance companies, lawyers, business people from all stripes and saying what can we do to improve health care outcomes in utah and reduce costs? again, that discussion i think is healthy in the exercise we're going to to help directly affect costs. we are looking to expand our exchange to provide opportunities for all of our state employees to be a part of the health exchange of 22000 people and the families that will be able to put on. would like to expand the exchange not only just small businesses, which we have right now which is up to 50, but to go to 100, and larger. ultimately, t defined contributn model ought to be available to all employees. all employers. regardless of their size. there's issues that we're going
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to be tackling and talk about as we go forward. medicaid comes to the top of my mind. medicaid is the budget buster of all budget busters after. it's a dramatic challenge for our budgets what erisa started out here a decade ago is about a 9% part of my budget. is now up to 20%. over the next decade we think we will be up to 30% of the cost of our budget which just means it takes more money away from other as we think are important, education and infrastructure of the health and human service needs. so medicaid will need to have some flexibility, much of the software going to watch as we go forward. let me just finish by ending where i started. we need to address the rising cost of health care. i do think the affordable care act does that. i think we provided an opportunity with our health care exchange in utah as a model based on good principles that allows businesses to continue to provide the benefit and help with competitive forces and
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consumer control to, in fact, have an impact on the rising cost of health care. it may be imperfect but it's a step i think in the right direction. again, the fundamental position that i'm taking and we are taking in utah is free market works if we allow but it takes politicians like myself and others out there to be disciplined and to give time for the marketplace to work. we sometimes are so anxious to fix a problem that we don't let the marketplace make the adjustments that are necessary to get the right outcome. and again as i said, if we want the best quality product, the best benefit you could possibly have for the most people at the lowest cost, that happens in a free market. and it happens from the beginning of this country's history. it's happened for all goods and services we've had and health care should be no exception. so with that let me say i thank you for my me to come and
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pontificate a bit, and thanks for the invitation, tom, dick and until about the you call -- utah health exchange but i think people can learn from what we're doing in utah. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, governor herbert. he has until about 130, and then -- please identify yourself. that op-ed will wait for to market will take questions for today. let's go down in front. katherine. >> governor, thank you for taking my question. john street, cns the catholic bishops have declared that the obama mandate on contraception and abortion drugs is unjust and illegal. and is a violation of religious
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liberty that they will not okay. do you agree with the bishops that the mandate is a violation of religious liberty under the first amendment, and if so, will you also not comply with it? >> i do agree with the bishops. again, i think it's inherent in the founding of our country, religious liberty. and again as the state of utah which again has its own history of persecution and people trying to deny their religious liberty, it really is something that we're concerned that in utah. so people ought not have to use taxpayers money to buy something i think is a very moral, repugnant thing to do. so we will support the position of the bishops. >> thank you. is very quick i wanted to thank you for the leadership of shown. it's taken incredible political courage to be which are doing the edges to step back, bringing down to the families perspective of what reform means.
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-- [inaudible] that's a good thing is also a lot of pressure. hhs has a big incentive to spend the conversations with you to make it look like what you exchange will be in the future is really a partnership with the federal government. many people, what you're doing, not is a partnership but as a governor who is protecting his people, leaving his state forward and allowing hhs to do -- [inaudible]. if you could address that, and then just one other quick, which is very much related, on the issue of medicaid. again, states that haven't made up their mind on the medicaid expansion are watching your every move, no pressure, and so the question that they are racing on medicaid expansion, the state of utah that is known to be one of the best run states in the country, and yet you turn
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down federal funding. governors are hearing and the legislator hearing over and over again that it's fiscally irresponsible to turn down federal funding. so i wanted come and get we're hearing from hhs that we haven't had a definitive decision from utah, so it's likely to be more of a partnership. if you could just talk will be about these two issues, how your protecting utah's needs and exchange is but also how you see the principles playing out on this. >> well first let me say there's always people who criticize whatever we do. and you can't please everybody, and that's why it's important for us to develop a set of principles and goals. we did that in the beginning. principles, goals and objectiv objectives. and then let's not get caught up in emotion of the moment. again, health care is an emotional thing and when your loved ones is having struggled and you look for some help, it's
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easy to set where is the government to help us? and so i think we need to again state to -- stay true to principles that will give us the right outcome. all of this needs to be looked at under the umbrella of budget. i mentioned here at a function the other day that they were talking about costs and why are we not, in fact, embracing this expansion on this money, you know. and i said when i was a young man i bought my first car and had a couple different choices out there, and my dad said you can buy it if you can afford it. i think that's part of the challenge of medicaid expansion. you can buy it if you can afford it. i reject the idea do so that it's free money. you know it comes out of the same pocket when you label it state tax money or federal tax money. it comes out of the same pocket. the ought to be a growing concern when we are borrowing 40 cents on every dollar that we
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are driving this country to the verge of bankruptcy. now, you know, i don't think the sky is falling from the standpoint can we make some adjustments, he repaired or irreversible. but we've got to start waking up and sing state the responsibility we can't keep going there with her hand out. it is hard for us to say well, if we don't take it, that money will be distributed to somebody else. you all get the benefits but we've got to pay it back. my kids, my grandkids are going to be on the hook for the growing expense. so there's always that temptation. we talked earlier, elections have consequences. we've got to put people in place in washington that understand that this formula of spend more, borrow more, has got just a. we've got to come up with some kind of fiscally restraint here in washington. states can help. i've gone and testified before a
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call for congressional hearings and said from utah perspective, and i think other states will join with us, we will take less money. don't dangle it out there in front. we will take less money. why don't you just say to us, we will take 20% less money in utah, take away the strings, unfettered me. i will find innovative ways to do things. i will create better opportunities. we don't have to begin management of the services just because we have less money. we can, in fact, did more with less but in utah we're proving it. government is labor intensive. in utah right now today we have fewer state employees today in 2013 family had back in 2001. a dozen years ago. and yet we have six to 700,000 more people. we are a very fast growing state. we were providing more services with less people. we are doing more with less. now come in washington we're doing less with more. it's just the reverse of that. we need to change that mentality coming states can help lead that
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way. >> one part question. we are at about the eight minute mark. >> thank you, governor. question for you based on what you were saying, how do you feel the federal government is doing getting their own exchange ready? we've heard a lot of stories that they may not meet some of their deadlines that are upcoming. and you think congress should help them and push back the deadlines to get ready? >> well, it's hard for me to look into the apparatus of the federal government and see how they're doing. i guess i am a little jaundiced eyes on their ability to meet their deadlines. that's not unique to anything. that's sort of the way things have been running a great thinkers been about the lack of embracement i states of the exchange. most are defaulting to the federal government, and i'm sure that's a good thing by the way overall. for state rights and for those who don't want us to go to a
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single-payer system. i think that may encourage that to happen even quicker. but we will have to hundreds of thousands of people, and to set that up and to understand what this poster and how this post to do it. again, when you've got 200,000 pages of regulations that we'ree still can't figure out what does it mean, you know, it causes a lot of confusion and uncertainty, and i think it's going to be forced to have to delay the actual condition of all of us. and i guess it will remain to be seen. i don't be too critical here but this is going to be the most humongous change in our society since, you know, social security and fdr. >> thank you, governor. i have competition and free market question for the utah
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health exchange and other state exchange. given that summaries making $35,000 a year, the panel is $60 a month so they're making what are thousand 200 amok, ac is projected to cost 400 a month. it there any effort to lobby hhs to level the playing field, because how are you going to compete if sony pitts opinion of 60 to 200 it's costing 400? i think that would do if someone had an interest. what is your opinion on competition for leveling the playing field, and the penalty situation? >> people have to qualify to receive the tax subsidy, tax credit subsidy. and so there are some parameters put in place. for some of us we think when you're willing, you could have 400% of poverty. people making over $100,000 a year and qualify for tax subsidy. that does make me pause and say is is really the road want to go
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down? is this really where government out to be when it comes to health care reform? our business side really doesn't have a subsidy is for people who don't qualify for the subsidy. and if they want to go to their individual mandate, and i think there's going to be pressure where people find out hey, if i go across the street to the federal exchange, i can get some subsidy, and that probably is going to have some impact on the marketplace. our business people, depending on what they do, we are going, we're trying to introduce to the private sector interest to facilitate information and have them choose to whether they qualify for subsidy or not. [inaudible] >> then they could have charged. >> sure. we can dangle the carrot out there, which is money. you know, we could probably change the incentives. we are reluctant to do that though. because we think this incident
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broke them is the wrong way to go. why do subsidized and then think we're not going to get more of it? if you buy, you're going to get more. people like what you're going to outside were going to get more of this. our entire welfare program has grown exponentially because we are, in fact, subsidizing probably incorrect behavior. so i'm very concerned, again, everything a look at is probably cost benefit under the umbrella of the budget. and i am a proud american, and i'm concerned about the direction the country goes, is going with their borrowing 40 cents out of every dollar. and i see no end in sight we are at $16.4 trillion in debt. it's a number that i think any of us can comprehend. [inaudible] >> we have time for just one more very short question. i will take the best bid. we are market oriented here.
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i think we will go down here. this will be, we will wrap up in a couple of minutes. >> good afternoon, governor. just a quick question about navigators and personal assistant. will utah be hiring the navigators and in person assistance? if so, how will you balance that with the professional insurance brokers, which i know the brokers are paid commission to work with employers and with individuals to help them navigate the market, and how would utah be doing that if they are? >> well again, we're going to be passive. when i going to try to navigate anybody other than introduce them to the portal. they can shop and compare. these are smart people. they can call her insurance broker. they can talk to the different companies are part of the insurance exchange, and they will give them information. they will be shocked -- they can shop and compare. you can look on the portal as he with the program is, 135
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different choices. picked one that suit you can see what the cost is. talk to an insurance broker and see what advice he wants to give you. but we are passive. we want the consumer to make those decisions. and informed choice and with a lot of selection introducing again competition for the different vendors saying we want your money and we will do this for you which will help us keep those costs from rising. >> governor herbert, it is our honor and pleasure of governor herbert here today. please thank him for his remarks and his leadership. [applause] ..
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his new interior secretary, the president and ceo of our e eye, and outdoors company that sells clothes and gear at over 100 stores across the country. before that she worked in commercial banking in as an engineer for mobil oil. confirm she will replace current interior secretary kinsella's arc. you can see the nomination of and to date at 2:00 eastern and our companion network, c-span. the u.s. senate is not in today as democrats and republicans continue their policy retreat. lawmakers will return tomorrow at 9:30 a.m. to continue work on a bill to reauthorize and the violence against women act. you can see this and that live here on c-span2. the u.s. house is in session. members passed a bill requiring president obama to submit a balanced budget to congress.
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the vote was 253-167. the house is done with less with a work for the wheat. members will be out the next couple of days. democratic members can attend their retreat. follow live on c-span when members return next week. coming up, live as a group of republican national security leaders from the house and senate armed services committee holds a press briefing to discuss averting defense sequestration. live coverage at 145 eastern here on c-span2. until then, yesterday a bipartisan group of house members introduced a new bill that would make gun trafficking a federal crime. that would also penalize straw purchasers who buy guns for convicted felons are prohibited from buying guns on their own.
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it. >> good afternoon. behalf of my colleagues, i wanted thank you for being here today. we extend a special measure of appreciation for our law enforcement officials who are with us behind us here at, including chris, vice-president of that federal law enforcement officers association. we will hear from him in a few minutes, but first there representatives, and i am sure all the folks who are here today appreciate our law enforcement officials keeping the faith. thank you. we are here today because fellow members of congress and of course were here today as republicans and democrats. first and foremost as fellow americans and here to introduce an advanced immensely pieces -- much needed piece of legislation . the second amendment serves as
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the high end impossible all the attacks on one side every law-abiding americans' constitutional right to own firearms. on the other side is those that do not have a constitutional right to name the criminals. straw purchasers of firearms are those who lie when purchasing a firearm saying it is were there and use when their true intent is to give it to someone else. this bill was the tackles the decisions that exist right now that make it difficult vote in case they deter and prosecute gun traffickers and straw purchasers. it really reflects the sound counsel and advice of the good men and women behind the law enforcement prosecutors, those who are on the front lines and it reflects common sense and common ground. the tragedy that occurred in new york and unfold on christmas eve when new york firefighters were
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killed. sphere where did he get the gun? he could not legally purchase a because he was a convicted felon. he found a straw purchaser. we need to change the culture says it is no big deal to buy again for someone else. that is not a proper culture for our country. as a lifetime member of the nra, as a firearm owner and as a father and grandfather i have a problem with people who break the law using firearms because it inevitably puts pressure on my rights. when we punish the bad guys who we are protecting the good guys and that is the essence of this bill. law enforcement officers say it is difficult to convict because federal law on these two topics is disconnected. four out of ten straw purchasers
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release suffer no meaningful consequence to what they just did. the legislation across law enforcement officers with what they don't have now, what they said that they need. they're telling is the need a single section of federal code that gives them the authority in the guidance to prosecute gun traffickers and straw purchasers . for having the verges -- purchase of firearms if intended to deliver it to someone else, prohibited by federal or state law from progressing. strengthens penalties of raising to 20 years imprisonment for straw purchasers and increases the penalties organizers or managers of firearms, trafficking now works, and this is an essential step recommending that an increase penalty for multiple illegal gun purchasers.
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although members make a few remarks, we will be happy to answer any questions. thank you. appreciate your being here today to win a pleased to introduce my friend and colleague. >> thank you for your lead on this, and i must say, it is great to have an nra member standing with us on this important reform. from new york we talk about the twin towers. the police and fire save the lives of so many on september september 11th, and i want to thank the men and women in law enforcement and amendment standing with a sedate. for too long we have been handcuffing the wrong people. we have made it very difficult for law enforcement to stop the flow of guns to criminals, and we have made it easy for criminals to get their hands on guns. with this bill, we start turning
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this around so that we can and get the real people and those are the criminals. this bill, which is the first in history a bipartisan federal bill will come back gun trafficking. it makes gun trafficking a felony, and it increases the penalties for gun trafficking and for straw purchasers. when we were having series of government reform and oversight committee on violence on the border, law enforcement testified that they don't even bother to prosecute or capture straw purchasers because the penalties are so weak. it is like a slap on the hand. they asked us to make gun trafficking a felony, to make it a crime, which is what our bill does. this bill will keep guns or certainly try to keep guns from criminals, but it does not in any way affected the second
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amendment or affect the right of legal gun owners stuff on their gun and to have their gun. my colleague mentioned many aspects of the bill and the terrible tragedy that happened in webster, new york just after the elementary school in stony brook. under our bill the straw purchaser would be facing 20 years in jail. this puts teeth behind and enforcement behind and gives law enforcement the tools that they need to make our country safer. and telling you that the american people are really crying out for concrete depth to stem the gun violence in our country. their private -- crying a frost to work together to compromise, to get something done, to protect our people, to take
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illegal guns off the streets, and this bill with the help of my colleagues is an important step in their interaction. it is now my pleasure to introduce my colleague and friend from the great state of pennsylvania. >> thank you, and that would like to think of my colleagues here today and those are joined together in this bipartisan effort to reach across the aisle and support the and trafficking prevention act. i come here as a lever of congress, for a prosecutor at the both state and the federal level, but i come here to give a voice to two people who are not able to be here with us today. i come here today to give a voice to to people who are not able to be with us today, a plymouth township police officer, pennsylvania police officer breadbox and pennsylvania state trooper joshua miller will both of whom
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a brave law enforcement officers his allies in the line of duty to killers to receive guns as part of the end result of a straw purchaser to put the guns in the hands of criminals who should not have had them. this is important legislation because it fills a gap and has been identified but each of the speakers to this point, the toothless penalties associated with gun trafficking, straw purchasing creating the environment in which it was difficult to deal to hold a straw purchaser accountable and just as significantly oftentimes we have little leverage against somebody who did purchase a gun with somebody and transferred it illegally. now there is the ability to work with and in some particular cases have much more leverage in being it will to gain the collaboration and cooperation to
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get the conviction, not just of the alternate user should not be having it legally, but begin to take down some of the networks. i am pleased to be joined here by many former colleagues in law enforcement. and of my pennsylvania police chiefs association, prosecuting attorneys and i have been part of, federal law-enforcement officers of i have had the credibility to work side-by-side have all joined together in support of this important legislation recognizing that what it does is punish those who should not have the guns in their hands to protect the second amendment rights of those who own guns legally and use them appropriately. i am glad to be all to reach across the aisle and work for common sense solutions that may have a real effect in dealing with the issue of violence in our society, and i am pleased as well to turn it over to my get friend and colleague, the
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ranking member of the oversight committee. >> good afternoon, everyone. as many of you know, this issue is extremely personal for me. the year and after your lost my nephew to a senseless act of gun violence. just this week my treasurer lost his son to gun violence. my nephew was just 20 years old. he was a student at old dominion university in virginia power and light are beautiful children at sandy hook, he was an amazing and man with his entire life ahead of him. today, in addition to being a member of congress, all of the family members who have lost their loved ones to gun violence
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should understand that i know what they're going through. it is a painful thing to see your blood splattered on the walls of an apartment. to see tissue from their loved ones splattered on walls. i understand why they are desperate for action and why they do not ask very -- their elected officials to do something, but they're begging us to address the problem. they want us to put aside politics, disregard pros and rhetoric, and work together on common sense reforms that everyone can agree on. when i think about my nephew, i know he would be so proud of us here today. look at this room.
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we have democrats and republicans, members from rural districts and urban districts. we represent citizens of virginia, new york, pennsylvania, and raleigh. i want to thank my republican colleagues for reaching across the aisle, and i mean that. this is why leaders are important. groups from across the country, local, regional command national officials of come together to endorse legislation, and we greatly appreciate your support. after the massacre at sandy hook some said nothing, nothing would happen in the house of representatives. ladies and gentlemen, we are here today on a bipartisan basis to say about those skeptics are wrong. we have a message from our colleagues in the house. this bill simply makes sense.
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it law enforcement officials have asked for it. it will make a significant difference in combating nonviolence and will not affect the rights of a single legitimate gun owner. we asked them to join us in taking this critical step forward. we all need to join. agnon's that this bill will not solve every problem. this is just one step, but that is no excuse for doing nothing. if we never take action we will never be able to solve any problem. as our colleague said in her testimony, we must act now, act boldly, and courageously. america is surely counting on us . sometimes the hardest things in life are not quite as hard when you work together.
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this bipartisan group has been marking together for weeks. we have been able to talk honestly about the problem of gun violence. as a result we have found not just common ground, but higher ground. finally, let me know to law-enforcement officials asked for this legislation. as my colleague said, they basically begged for it, and that begs for it because they simply wanted to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently it was law enforcement agencies to testify before congress that despite what you may think there is no dedicated federal statute against firearm trafficking. they told us punishments for straw purchasers are too low, so those criminals have no incentive to cooperate where prosecutors target kingpins and other leaders of gun trafficking
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networks. now let me introduce our next speaker. chris is the vice-president of the federal law enforcement offices -- >> see the rest of this briefing on line at live know as a group of republican national security lever's -- leaders who will discuss proposals for averting defense sequestration cats. >> twenty-third district, chairman of the house armed services committee. yesterday the president gave us a proposal that cuts defense spending once again, has 500 billion in the texas and also cuts in domestic spending. it is irresponsible, unacceptable, leaving our troops in the economy and ready to face the challenges of the future and the debts of today. when i went to our steering
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committee to apply for this job i've explained away as of a job was to make sure that our troops , those who we sent our joint what have everything that they needed to carry out their missions and return home safely cover everything in the way of resources, training, leaders. these things are very important. and i like what is happening with these cuts that we have seen over the last couple of years, and it is just, as i said , irresponsible that the commander-in-chief, his main job should be the thing that i looked at as my job, only he has it in total. he should be looking soldier sailors, marines that he sent arms way. he should not send them with anything less than the total that they need, and to be stepping up and continuing to
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cut -- i visit with our top leaders commanded tell me, we have done passed during the fat. gun past cutting the meat. we're into the bone, and it is now where they're going to have to cut will reduce the ability to train and equip these people properly, and that is going to start costing lives, and it is time for the president to face up to what the real responsibility is, the real problem, and that is to look at mandatory spending. i am happy to be here today. we have a proposal. and have to join with senator -- the senators who have been leading this effort and are putting forth the bill that will give us some breathing room on the sequestration.
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it gives us time to think about it. pays for it by having a reduction in the federal workforce of the next ten years through attrition. so as painless as possible to protect our troops. >> thank you. you end i if someone had told us ' we were serving tea and other that we would be projecting losses of 487 billion over the time we reserve the, we said this could that happen. always enjoyed our close relationship. for 14 months we call the president to recognize the impact of sequestration . it has been intentionally held
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down so that people don't realize how bad it is and as long as two years ago when senator john kyl and another got together with the house committee and looked at what is coming and what we will be able to do about it, that is the beginning of all of this. unfortunately when the president came out with a plan yesterday and i saw it, domestic, defense, and 50 percent tax increases kali it was a nonstarter, and i think he knew that. just this morning it was in the -- in politico, a press report, is certain his budget office to restrict the release of information on the devastating impact of sequestration soap not to be fixed. and according to politico this has infuriated some of the
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members of the appropriations committees into may be having hearings. there is no way to delay sequestered until the end of the year, but their is a way not to do it, and i applaud the house committee for the work that has been done, and that is what this is all about today, a way of doing it without cutting defense is, domestic and without raising taxes. if sequestered is allowed to take place and continue resolution is not fixed, the department of defense has to waste billions of dollars. the admiral said it the other day, there could be for the first time in history instances where we may be asked to respond to a crisis. we will have to say we cannot. well, i would like to say that i am pleased with the committee that we have, the minority in
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the senate. we have a lot of talent. we're going to use all that talent. people are heading up are six committees, sessions, mccain, gramm, and others on the committee, so it will be my strategy and has been in the past to use this and make sure that they are the ones who will be driving this commanded certainly will not be a 1-man show. with that, clearly the one who has been driving this so far. with that, like to have her come forth with the bill and the senate that these plans will we're going to be doing. >> thank you, senator. i want to thank the chairman for his lead. we know how pacha you have been. of course, my colleague to low we traveled around the country on this issue one year ago and
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still feel as passionate about it, but the impact on national security by allowing sequestration steel into effect, and they also want to thank my colleagues from the house representative turner, thorn bury for being here. here is where we are. we know from seeing our secretary of defense and from the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff this weekend on the sunday shows with the impact of sequestration is going to be to our national defense, and i guess i would ask everyone here, do we believe it is safer around the world right now marching toward nuclear weapons capability, with the assault and all of the 60,000 people who have been murdered in syria, the weapons that we have seen coming from the regime that have ended up with the incident in algeria we can go on and on about the
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challenges that we face, and let's not forget, we are still at war with our troops that we recently visited afghanistan. our national security challenges remain great command we have already reduced defense spending $4,807,000,000,000. so it is time for the commander in chief, his foremost responsibility and hours to keep the american people save, that we stop the sequestration and, frankly, defense should not be used as a bargaining chip because of other policy and operations that people want to accomplish. and so we have introduced this bill that is similar to the one that richard is last year that chairman mccain introduced on the house which addresses sequestration for defense and nondefense to the end of the fiscal year without raising taxes, essentially taking the president's own fiscal commission proposal from the
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simpson bowles of work force attrition to come up with saving and also we have vetted on the congressional pay freeze as well to pay for this. so yesterday we heard what the president had to say to his proposal is unacceptable, and sufficient. i agree with the chairman of this. every discussion we have heard from this president seems to begin and end with tax increases despite the fact that we have already given $600 billion in additional revenue just for a few months he also once more on that and more cuts to our defense. even though his own secretary of defense has said it freed on address the sequestration we will be shooting ourselves in the head, hauling of military, substantially reducing our naval fleet, armed forces and a dangerous time in the world. so i hope that my colleagues across both sides of the gile will join in this common-sense effort.
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it gives us the up originally to work out the bigger picture fiscal issues that the senate democrats to said they're willing to do a budget. i also serve on the budget committee. this bill makes sense. alpinist past but the, and i also would share with the senator said, let's go where we are now. the president of the united states who said during the campaign this is not going to happen when he talked of sequestration. here we are. his administrations stopped warrant at notices from going forward, rewrote the law that some people would not be worn down the impact of it and now he wants to use it to increase more taxes and we have a common-sense proposal right here from his own fiscal commission that we could pass to invest your september and they're really makes sense so that we do not undermine our national security for generations as our secretary of defense has said. i thank my colleagues for being here than it is my honor
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chanters senator john mccain who needs no introduction. >> the always appreciates it. >> i would like to very briefly say, i thank the senator for his lead on this issue. our colleagues from the house who are joining us. i think that the senator pointed out the devastating effects of sequestration. if implemented it will cut every aircraft and ship, truck program, research and development across the board. secretary of defense panetta, a man that i admire greatly called sequestrations a meat axe approach. it is important to note that according to one economic analysis across the loss of 350,000 full-time direct jobs in
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650,000 indirect jobs. .. >> because of our time and national defense that took place previously. we have seen this movie before. we lived in a dangerous world,
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more dangerous than any that i can remember since the end of the cold war. this is the wrong time for sequestration to take place. we should be able to sit down together and resolve this without asking the american people to have their taxes increased. i thank you. next is the lawyer from south carolina, senator graham. >> we are going to spend $47 billion over the next -- excuse me, 46 or $47 trillion over the next decade. question is when we reduce spending by $1.2 trillion, without raising taxes and destroying the defense department, the answer is yes, if we want to. now, the president has a proposal. i don't think it's sound, but let's vote on it. to harry reid, the house, we have done nothing in the senate.
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it is one thing to be the world's most deliberate body. it is another thing to be the most absent. we are not doing anything in the senate, so harry reid, please come up with one of your own proposals, put it on the floor, let's start voting. if you don't like what we are doing, come up with your own plan. now, as john said, republicans own this proposal on the sequestration idea. it was the president's idea, according to bob woodward broke, that we would agree to it. we got in this mess together, and we are going to have to get out the way and do it together. you are the commander in chief.
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do you really want a deal to destroy the military at the time we need it the most? you want to do that with asia? what about the low number of ships we have? if you exempt personnel, have you modernize the f16 and f18. our enemies would love this to happen. i am sure that iran is very supportive of sequestration. i am sure that al qaeda training camps all over the world would be pleased with the fact that sequestration would gut the cia and the intelligence platform. it is just not about tanks and planes, the smallest air force in the history of the country.
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the smallest army since 1940. it is about the cia. it is about the intelligence gathering capabilities of the country. it is also about the department of education. it is about nondefense matters. so i am hopeful that we can finally start voting in the senate rather than just complaining about what the house does. we bear responsibility as republicans for allowing this to happen. lead us to a better solution. if you do not, mr. president, you will go down in history as one of the most irresponsible commanders in chief in the history of the country. you allow the finest military in the history of the world to deteriorate at a time when we need it the most. let's not let that happen. >> let me just add or emphasize
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three quick points. the first is reducing civilians by attrition is a good idea, even at dod. i would just remind you that yesterday the recently departed undersecretary for policy, argued in "the washington post" that we needed to reduce dod as a reason to improve efficiency within the pentagon. that applies to all the other agencies as well. secondly, most of the concern about sequestration is about readiness. which is absolutely true. if you talk about the lawyers that work as defense contractors, they believe that they will have a field day. we have even had testimony last year that the legal household emanating from sequestration making up a lot of the savings. but beyond that, as senator ayotte and senator lindsey
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reference, there are a lot of dangerous places in the world. but we do is try to develop capabilities to deal with the unknowable contingencies of what could happen at a place like syria or iran or north korea. with less money, you can perform with fewer contingencies. this hurts us in the real world today. my final point is there are lots of options to deal with this. as was mentioned, the house passed bills twice last year to substitute sequestration savings for other more or other more targeted savings, so the same amount of money, and these domestic programs are saved as well. today we have another proposal that is out there on the table. i suspect that maybe another one or two will occur in the next few days. anyone who has been around washington the past two months
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knows that if any one of us says the answer to this is taxes, they haven't been living in the real world after what we have been through for the last two months. it's time to be more serious about this, to get off the campaign trail, to be a commander in chief. i turned it over to mike from ohio. >> thank you. our commander in chief is mending malpractice on the department of defense. the president has gambled with our national security would sequestration. it is a losing bet. the defense budget is less than 18% of all of our spending. yet the sequestration would have 50% of the cuts falling on defense spending. 50% of the cuts fall on less than 18% of our overall budget. now, the president has nominated proposals that would include taxes, but also include the 50% of the sequestration cuts that were on defense.
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when the president was campaigning, he was saying that the sequester cuts would not happen. he did not say half of the sequestration cuts would not happen. he said that would not happen. so today he makes a proposal that would allow half of the cuts are going to place. and half of it, he claims, would be offset by taxes. this is a problem that he has been around for over a year. in this late hour, the president comes forward to offset the expenses that he knows are needed to address the issue of sequestration. in addition to raising taxes and putting a greater burden on our economy, it is only half of the solution. it's not have a solution, it is a whole solution. in addition, as we look over the
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world by becoming a safer place, these cuts are irresponsible. this allows us to responsibly restore the spending and make sure our national security is protected and that we look further into our budgets and become responsible and reduce overall spending. thank you. >> questions? >> [inaudible question] >> [inaudible question] what has resolved some of that talk? >> we are going to have a hearing next week from the
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chairman of the joint chiefs. the vice chairman, all of the joint chiefs. i think what they will tell us at that hearing is that we are really in dire straits. they have said things -- we have held hearings on this and had speeches and a lot of talk. there is a grim scheme that's going to fix everything. nobody was for a short-term solution. the president opted for a short-term solution. we just don't think it's a viable solution. we think it is not one i can pass. we think the solution that we are presenting today is viable, and it will fix much of the problem that the joint chiefs are having to deal with. we have already cut 487 billion out of defense. the $500 billion in additional sequestration and the way it is
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done, with no strategy or plan, it is is disastrous. the commander-in-chief ought to step up and face the fact that he is the commander-in-chief. we heard he won the election. okay, provide some real leadership and shelley. this quest to continually raise taxes is not going anywhere. we have already done that. now, we are asking for real leadership and a real solution. >> [inaudible question] >> you know, there are plenty of things to fight about. i think some of the differences that i have had with some of my republican friends is -- we are not that far apart. we all want to fix the deficit problem. there is no question about it. but i think when they look at this bill and understand what we are really facing, i do not believe that we will have a problem there.
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>> [inaudible question] [talking over each other] >> it is different great obviously, we have two different versions. the house has this attrition of the workforce that has been the component and we had a combination for every new positions, we had one and then two, and we can bind both so we are on the same page. the house proposal on the attrition and we have also added congressional papers on it as well for the civilian workforce. >> [inaudible question] >> i would certainly defer to others here and the chairman. there is a real urgency here.
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one of the reasons that the president and his administration during his campaign, they didn't actually want the law that requires you to notify workers that they may be laid off, essentially the department of labor says the defense employers didn't have to comply with that law, it's because they knew that once they understood the real implications of sequestration, there was going to be a public outcry. i think we are in a different place. people understand that there are grave implications to this. so i hope that the leadership would hear from not and go forward. this is a very legitimate proposal that addresses this issue. >> you feel comfortable tomorrow that you will have a vote? or do you want to delay it?
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>> i don't know. i don't know whether or not we will have one. i do want to say when you talk about how this is different from last year, last year, we want desperately busier we are are. last year we were talking about the president's own secretary of defense saying that this is devastating. that is the major difference. i think people are aware of this. this president has done everything he can to hide the devastating effects of sequestration. [talking over each other] as far as the hearing is concerned tomorrow -- >> [inaudible question] >> there is information and other people are speaking right now. i will talk to the chairman, we haven't decided exactly at what we will be doing at that time. >> what is the status of your
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proposal? >> it is something that would be a last-ditch effort. this buck mckeon on and kelly ayotte bill. it will get everyone to sit down and analyze just how devastating this is. it gets everybody to sit down and make it less devastating than what it could be. we have already talked to the chiefs, they are working right now, that is an important step. >> [inaudible question] >> it is not desperate enough, when you can do it without raising taxes. that is why we are here today.
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>> [inaudible question] >> they run the white house -- >> you know, that's right, they do on the white house. but that's not the people of america. the vast majority of the people say that a problem is that we are not taxed enough, it's that we are taxed too much and we are spending too much. >> senator graham? >> if we had votes in this place, we could define common ground. how about this as an idea come asked the president, during the campaign he promised this wouldn't happen. you didn't tell us that if i get elected president i'm going to reduce sequestration in half. because it's a big deal in virginia. it's a big deal in other states. so here we are after the election. you can even tell us what i'm going to raise taxes three
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times. $1.2 trillion in tax increases for obamacare. 600 billion in tax increases to avoid the fiscal cliff, and now you want to raise taxes yet again. how about the idea of trying to find some spending cuts that do not include the military, when you have these to choose from over the next decade. no more backwards bills. but the proposal on the senate floor and see how many senate democrats feel comfortable raising taxes yet again. after this, if you feel comfortable with cutting the government this way, then you have lost your way is much as the president. what happened with ronald reagan who said the federal government's responsibility above all others is the
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department of defense. what happened to that? well, i intend to get that party back. i intend to fight for the party of ronald reagan. we are going to explain to republicans and democrats alike what happened if we let sequestration go into effect. we are going to challenge a republican and democratic colleagues not to raise taxes every time we have a problem. because there is a better way. economic growth is down. unemployment is up. it's time to cut spending. >> the house has acted twice. the house has r.d. acted twice to avoid sequestration. tell the majority leader that you can resolve it. so far we have seen no indication that the majority leader of the senate would bring this to the floor of the senate.
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>> [inaudible question] >> sure, they want to solve the problem. i have talked to many of them. that is what we are supposed to do. they may not agree with this proposal, but a lot of the democrats i talk to are aware of how devastating the impact of the sequestration is. the path we are on right now is that congress will not act in the next 30 days. [talking over each other] [talking over each other] >> we need to wrap this up. >> [inaudible question] >> dossett number is $85 billion. >> [inaudible question] >> yes, from the president on fiscal commission. we have to wrap this up, but thank you. >> i would like to say one more thing about the question about what has changed. up until december, the joint chiefs were commanded to not plan for sequestration.
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now, they have had time to look at it, and we are going to hear next week some very specific things that they told me about in the last couple days. when people hear those things. when a call comes, when the american people find it out, there will be some real changes. thank you. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> wrapping up with house and senate republicans on avoiding defense of sequestration cuts set to go in to effect on march 1. you can see this again on earlier today, leon panetta spoke about the potential fallout from those pending defense cuts. he was at georgetown giving one of his final speeches as defense secretary. here's a portion of what he had to say. >> the defense strategy that we
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put in place, our hope is that we can deal with a wide range of threats. and the we can do it in a way that makes our fiscal responsibilities. you do not have to choose between protecting national security and protecting our fiscal security as well. this strategy and our ability to effectively confront the security challenges that i talked about, it is not a very serious risk. not because of our capabilities. not because of what we can do. not because of the strength of the united states. we are the strongest military power in the world. that is not what creates a serious risk. what creates a serious risk today is the pervasive budget uncertainties that threatens our security and threatens our economic future.
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since the budget control act was passed in august of 2011, the department of defense and other agencies from the government have been living under this serious shadow and cloud. the shadow of sequestration. this legislative madness. it was designed to be so bad that no one in their right mind would let it happen. for those of you who have ever seen the movie "blazing saddles", it is the scene of the share putting the gun to his head in order to try to establish law and order. that is sequestration. for more than a year and a half, the joint chiefs of staff and i
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have been vocal about our deep concerns about taking another half trillion dollars out of the defense budget. in an across-the-board fashion that hits every area. the guarantees that we hollow out the military. across-the-board cuts. it would deeply damaged our national security. these cuts would. we face another deadline. march 1. the department of defense is again facing what i believe in what the service chiefs believe and the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff believe is the most serious readiness crisis that this country is going to confront in over a decade. president obama, i briefly many leaders in congress, they share our concerns.
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there are many that i've talked to on capitol hill who do not think this is crazy. no one that i have talked to doesn't think that this is a dangerous tool. the president, as you know, has been pushing hard to try to get a big deal. he wants to get a big deal establish that would control the deficit problem. he has proposed a comprehensive plan. if you do a conference to plan, if congress does that, it would trigger sequester. that was the whole point of establishing sequester. >> defense secretary leon panetta. you can see all of what he had to say on c-span right now. it's just getting underway. you can also look at these are the last few days of his tenure. president obama has nominated former nebraska senator chuck hagel to replace him. tomorrow, the senate intelligence committee will be
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holding a confirmation hearing for cia director john brennan. he was an advisor on president obama's 2008 campaign as a cia analyst. in his life tomorrow starting at 2:30 p.m. eastern. it will be on c-span. >> if you go back to the text that you had in high school, i bet that in your american history textbooks, if you go to the index, you will find no mention of this. if you go to your biology book, you would find no mention of the word eugenics. great chess books, but i didn't see any mention of eugenics. it is as if because we, meaning
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scientists, no longer believe in eugenics, we don't have to think about it. it is as if we historians, because we know that eugenics was awful, we can pretend it was not part of our culture. eugenics part of american history saturday night on american history tv. >> what i have discovered as i have gotten older and more mature is that the war strategy to achieve happiness in life is to make that requirement your goal. if you make happiness, actually what you are striving for, you will not probably achieve it. instead, you'll end up being short of narcissistic, caring about your own pleasures and your own satisfactions in life is your paramount goal. what i found is that happiness is best thought of as a byproduct of other things. meaningful work and family and
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friends in good health. love and care. we get happiness not by aiming directly for it, but fundamentally trying to have integrity and be a good person. >> in his book, conscious capitalism, john mackey examines the inherent good of business and capitalism can lead to a better world. sunday night at 9:00 p.m. on afterwards on c-span2. find more booktv online. saturday night at 9:00 p.m. on "after words." >> now, illegal immigration and citizenship. this panel is 3.5 hours.
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> good morning. is hearing of the committee on the judiciary on america's immigration system, opportunities for legal immigration and enforcement of laws against immigration will come to order. today we hold the first hearing of the judiciary committee in 113th congress. i will recognize myself for an opening statement after i welcome the ranking member. >> future congress will engage
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in a momentous debate on immigration. this will be a massive undertaking with implications for the future direction of our nation. as such, we must move forward methodically and evaluate this issue in stages, taking care to fully that the pros and cons. this debate is often emotionally charged. that is because it is not about concepts, but real people with real problems, trying to provide a better life for their families. this holds true for u.s. citizens, legal residents, and for those unlawfully residing in the united states. i urge the members of this committee to keep that in mind as we begin our examination. america is a nation of immigrants. everyone among us can go back a few or several generations to our own relatives who came to america in search of a better life. we are also a nation of laws. i think we can all agree that our nation's immigration system is in desperate need of repair.
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it is not working as efficiently as it should be. the american people and members of congress have a lot of questions about how our legal immigration system should work. they have a lot of questions about wire immigration laws have not always been sufficiently enforced. they have a lot of questions about how a large-scale legalization program would work, what it would cost, and how it would present illegal immigration in the future. immigration reform must honor both of our foundations is the rule of ockham and our history as nations immigrants. this is too complex and too important to not examine each piece in detail. we cannot rush to judgment. that is why the communities first hearing will begin to explore ways to evaluate the
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current legal immigration system and ways to improve it. as well as the history of the enforcement of our immigration laws. we have the most generous legal immigration system in the world, providing permanent residency to over a million immigrants a year. yet, all is not well. perspective immigrant workers often have to wait years for green cards to become available. so to their employers. but it has gotten so bad that the immigrant scholar has been testifying and will testify before the committee today, if i were stuck on a visa in america and trapped in a job, i would probably have decided to return to australia or india. what does this hotel for america's competitiveness? furthermore, legal permanent residents of the united states have to endure years of separation before they can be
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united with their spouses and minor children. laws also a wrecked unnecessary hurdles for farmers who put american food on tables. our agricultural guestworker program needs to be reformed. we allocate visa lottery programs and we do that to non-nuclear family members. some characterize it as chain migration. which former governor jeb bush has recently written does not promote the nation's economic interests. while america selects about 12% of our legal immigrants on the basis of their education and skill, the other main immigrant receiving countries of australia and the united kingdom and canada, select over 60% on this basis. not to mention 10 million
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individuals unlawfully present. in order to be like our competitors, we do need to have a serious conversation about the goals of america's legal immigration system. the extent to which past and present administration have enforced our administration laws. this is a crucial question. the year 1986 was the last time congress passed immigration reform that was comprehensive. at that time, congress granted legal status to millions who are unlawfully present in exchange for new laws against employment of illegal immigrants to prevent the need for future. these were never seriously enforced. even alan simpson, the senate author of the 1986 legislation has concluded that despite the
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best of intentions, the law did not satisfy this expectation or in the promises. this committee needs to take the time to learn from the past so that our efforts to reform our immigration laws do not repeat the same mistakes. america will remain true to our heritage as a nation of immigrants, as well as a nation of laws. i now turn to our ranking member, the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers. >> thank you, chairman bob goodlatte. this is an important hearing. you started off on a very important analysis of where we are. i am not here to critique your presentation, but to make my
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own. that i could summarize what i think we are going to be addressing in three phases. one is comprehensive. two is a path to citizenship, and three is border security more than ever when we can agree on is border security. it is improving -- i think that we have a general consensus
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about the ways that we can do a better job. there may be a few members of the house judiciary committee that would like to go to the borders and examine this and talk to those who are responsible for it. and i propose would determine that we continue this discussion as these hearings proceed. the notion of a comprehensive immigration area has been pushed around and bantered about. the fact of the matter is this is a challenge that i don't think we can handle on this
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basis. as my experience with the subject shows me, with 10 or 11 million undocumented people living among the as undocumented immigrants. i think that there must be an earned legalization process that is fair but firm -- one that is not -- one that is not subject
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to a lot of manipulation. you know, to my colleagues, among our citizens, there is more agreement than there is sometimes in this body. and i am hoping and i believe that it can be done with this committee will rise above our political instincts and try to serve the nation and these american citizens are important to us in a very special way.
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our citizens are not elite. i hope nobody uses that term today. they know americans that are immigrants. i think that we can forge a path to citizenship that we will be able to pass. we have a senatorial bipartisan support working very nicely thus far. and if it pleases the chairman, i would like to yield the rest of my limited time to the gentleman, mr. gutierrez.
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>> yes, we will give him one minute to close your remarks. >> thank you so much, mr. conyers, congressman conyers and gentleman, good luck. i expect the chairman will have great luck. i come back to the committee on financial services because i believe this committee is not important. i didn't come here to undermine anyone's work and framing a comprehensive immigration solution to our broken immigration system. i would like to welcome the witnesses that are here today. just to share with everyone -- i didn't come here with an engineering degree. my mom had a sixth-grade
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education. my dad did not graduate from high school. but i think we did pretty well. while i don't hold any prestigious degrees either, we sweat and toil in this country, and is gone he might've said today, let's have politics with principle. because the absence of one really leads us down a treacherous road that i don't think america wants to live on. i thank you, chairman bob goodlatte, and i look forward working with all of my colleagues here, especially mr. trey gowdy as well. i'm looking forward to that subcommittee experience with the both of you. thank you so much for allowing me to express myself this morning. >> we are glad to have you back. now it is my pleasure to recognize the chairman of the immigration subcommittee, the gentleman from south carolina,
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mr. trey gowdy for his opening statements. >> a couple of years ago, a young african author spoke at a high school in south carolina. she was a beautiful and talented young woman. when she lifted her onto brush away the air from her eyes, i saw something i had never seen before. at least not in this country, which was someone's hands that had been cut off with a machete. when she was 12 years old living in sierra leone, rebels soldiers came to her village. she tried to run and hide, she asked god to let her die. the soldiers found here. and they cut off her hands and mockingly told her to go to the president and ask for another favor. the 12-year-old girl a member thinking to yourself, what is a president? collectively we all understand why people want to come to this country. to taste freedom and liberty, know that hard work and education and a level playing
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field can combine forces to transform lives. escaping conflict and hardship is one thing, but getting a new home is another. america is a country that embraces justice. we reward fairness, we are a nation of laws, the poorest of the poor have the same core as the richest of the rich. the law provides order and structure and predictability and security. but we cannot become is a nation where the law is enforced selectively or not at all. what we cannot become some of the people, some of the time. we need a country where everyone plays by the same rules. with respect, they are not call rules in this country. they are called laws. each of us takes an oath to enforce those. including those with which we may disagree.
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because when the law is ignored or implied in an uneven way, we find the republic on which this nation was built. make no mistake, one may benefit from the same person who will be clamoring to have the law and force in another capacity. so we think that number one, humanity, number two is respect for the rule of law. history is whispering, as you noted, that we have traveled this road before. in 1956, we had told that immigration had been settled once and for all. we were told exchange for secure borders, those who entered the country illegally would not suffer the full legal consequences. in the minds of many, the country.amnesty but is still waiting 25 years later on the border security and important verifications. so here we are, back again come
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asking fellow citizens to trust us. despite ourselves, we remain open to legislative expressions of humanity and grace. but they will be watching. skeptical to see if we are serious about enforcing the rule of law. are we serious about ending the insidious practice of human trafficking. are we serious about punishing those who prey on folks with fraudulent documents. are we serious about border security? i was serious about making this the last time that we have this conversation? or are we simply playing political games with peoples lives and undercutting the respect for the rule of law, which, ironically, is the very reason they seek to come to this country in the first place. >> i think thank the gentleman. it is my pleasure to recognize the gentleman from california, the ranking member.
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>> thank you, mr. chairman. i congratulate you on holding this hearing. our committee's first hearing on our broken immigration system and i appreciate the gesture. this recent public statement you are open to reform and america does not need this. i look forward to working with the chairman to find balance between respect for the rule of law and i look forward to working with both of you in a bipartisan manner on these efforts. as we move forward, we need to recognize that our broken system does immeasurable harm every day that goes on reformed. the trail of tears to the border is not that far off from the system that we currently have. every day, our system tears families apart. parents from their children.
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if we want humane system, we have a lot of work to do. america is ready for us to do that work. i participated during my time as a lawyer and teaching law. today, the country's past the point of debating whether we need reform. they are simply counting on us to get it done. and the growing bipartisan consensus means that i think that we can get it done. , is comprehensive reform efforts, including a path for undocumented immigrants, even rush limbaugh told senator marco rubio that his efforts with immigration are admirable and noteworthy and recognized in reality. he has also seen both parties in the house and senate voiced strong support for immigration reform. we know immigration reform was
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supported by eight senators and there are similar discussions in the house. it will take such to solve these problems. i'm hoping this is the year that we and mass top to bottom reform. here today, our current system is dysfunctional in many ways. designing the system is critical to preserving the rule of law? we need illegal immigration system that works for families that want to come here and they are able to go through that system rather than around them. we are now moving record numbers of immigrants every year, according to experts, migration
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is at zero and possibly lower than now. every year we spend more money on enforcement. nearly $18 billion than on all other federal law enforcement combined. all of this enforcement should not be used to delay top to bottom reform of our laws. what needs to be done is not that complicated. we know a reform bill must include additional border enforcement as well as employment all of eligibility verification. we need to reform our employment visa system so that tech companies, farmers, and other u.s. businesses have accessed to workers come and we need to reform the family system to help keep families together. we also need to provide a way for 10 or 11 million undocumented immigrants to come out of the shadows and get right with the law in a way that is fair and practical. a few words of caution. first, partial legalization is a
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dangerous path. it leads only to france and germany to see how unwise it is to create a permanent cloud. what makes america special is able come here to assimilate and become americans with all of the rights and responsibilities that citizenship bestows. with the exception of slavery and the chinese exclusion act, our laws have never barred us from becoming citizens, we should not start now. second, we must not fall into the trap of reform. as governor jeb bush recently wrote in "the wall street journal", congress should avoid such quick fixes and commit itself instead to comprehensive immigration reform. immigration is a system that needs systematic overhaul. we must make it easier to seek america's competitiveness to grow our economy and we should not do by closing the door on
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immigrants. family unity has been the bedrock of our immigration system since the immigration act in 1952. in addition to strengthening american families, family-based immigration plays an important role in bolstering our economy. research shows that immigrants, most of whom come here through the family system, are twice as likely to start businesses in the u.s. as native people. and small non-tech businesses have grown at 2.5 the national average. i often say that i am glad that google was founded by an immigrant. it's worth noting that none of the founders of these companies came to the united states because of their skills. andy grove, they all came here for our family system or because they were refugees of the children of refugees. what made that special was the
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traits they shared with immigrants of all kinds. entrepreneurs, and a desire for a better life. it is the secret sauce that makes america great. when alexander hamilton and andrew carnegie, and many others, immigration is good for our country. it's time that we do our part and devise a way that the people have enough get up and go to get up and go and come to our shores and bring their talents and contributions to our society and to our economy to become americans with us. thank you very much, mr. chairman. i yield the floor back. >> i think the gentleman. without objection from all other members will be made a part of the record. we will turn now to our distinguished panel of witnesses. i will begin by introducing the first panel. our first witness on this panel
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is a visiting scholar at the university of california berkeley and senior research associate at harvard law school and director of research at the center for entrepreneurship and research commercialization at duke university. he is also a faculty member in the rights regular car loan for bloomberg business week. last year, his book the immigrant accident, was named a book of the year. by the economist magazine. mr. wadhwa received his degree in australia and his mba from new york university's stern school of business. we thank you for being here today. our next witness is
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mr. teitelbaum. prior to this, he served as a commissioner on immigration reform which completed his work in december of 1997. mr. teitelbaum received his bachelor's degree from reed college and subsequently earned his phd in demography from oxford university where he was a rhodes scholar. we are glad to have him joining us today. the third member of this first panel is doctor aurora. currently serving as the vice president ford immigration voice, a coalition of 75,000 highly skilled foreign professionals. he also serves as the director for a biotechnology firm in san francisco california. he join them as a clinical research medical director and he has been a volunteer since 2006 and leads the physicians chapter as well as the minnesota and
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southern california chapters. doctor puneet s. arora received his doctorate in 1994. he completed his internal residency in medicine in 1999, and he received a fellowship training in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the new york university school of medicine. he practices in a medically underserved area and was granted a national interest waiver for permanent residence in the united states by the united states. we thank the doctor for serving as a witness today. our final witness is julian castro, mayor of san antonio, texas. first elected in 2009 and reelected in 2011, he earned his undergraduate degree and 10-degree with honors in 1996. he is a doctor from harvard law
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school at the age of 26. he became the youngest elected council at that time in san antonio history. his brother serves in the u.s. house of representatives. we are pleased to have the mayor with us today. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mayor castro is such a unique witness for today. i would like to welcome him. i know that his brother is a congressperson, a member of the united states representatives, he is a member of one of the world's international cities. people coming from all backgrounds. you are well placed to understand what immigration and the opportunities and contributions that immigrants and those who come to this
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country for a better opportunity can contribute. and i thank you so very much for your leadership and your presence here today. welcome, fellow texans. i yield back. >> i now turn to the former chairman of the committee and the gentleman from san antonio, texas. mr. smith, ford 15 seconds of welcome. >> yes, i would like to welcome the mayor. as we both know, san antonio is a wonderfully livable, tri-cultural city. and he has done a great job representing us in so many ways. i also want to say that i enjoyed serving with your brother in congress, who was sitting behind you as well. >> welcome to all of our witnesses, and we begin with
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mr. vivek wadhwa. >> thank you for letting me speak with you. being here in washington dc, everything about being here, we worry about china, whether they are going to be the road to the future. we worry about shortages and everything in the world. when you are worried about a lack of resources and china taking over the world, you become very pessimistic. you begin to wonder. are we graduating too many scientists remapped all of this is based on the perspective of yesterday. we are really worried about this, we are starting to develop a complex, wondering and we wake up and realize that maybe we can get ahead again. the united states is in the middle of another reinvention. as we speak, technology is
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changing the landscape and giving america assistance. just like we saw, we worry about running out of oil, now you have saudi america. for acting came along and changed our entire perspective. that is just one small thing. five years ago, none of you would ever have used social media like facebook or twitter. the same thing is happening in
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manufacturing, everything is advancing so fast. within the next five to seven years, my prediction is that china will start coming back to america. we have the debate about health care, we worry about deficits in our system becoming bankrupt. health care is advancing. between digital imaging, it is really painful. i want a cardiologist read my ekg. it will be by my computer here. it means that we have preventative medicine.
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we will be able to save tremendous amounts of money to prevent this. this is happening regardless of lightspeed. it is also happening in california, we have the google self driving car. the land use and cities as for parking. we get stuck in traffic jams. 90% of the energy that we use is by automated self driving vehicles. advancing that in education. within the next five years, we are going to have another 3 billion people coming on the internet worldwide.
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the government can talk to each other, imagine what happens over the next five or so years with technology. it is all because of technology. people like me, engineers, scientists, whole assortment of people. until recently, 50% of silicon valley, the most innovative part of the country. we are reinventing america.
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it is all about skills. the people that are making this happen are engineers and scientists and doctors and most importantly entrepreneurs. so we have a choice right now. we can reinvent america and create a better world. we can create security that protects us and we can do all of these things right now, all within the next five or seven years. i can guarantee that five years from now, we will be talking about the changes. we are talking about many other things becoming abundant. our entrepreneurs, our technology, and to save us.
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a strong america is important for the world. immigration is one of the keys to making it happen. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ranking member conyers, members of the military, thank you for inviting me to report on the u.s. commission on immigration reform. it was a commission established by the immigration act in 1990, and it is often called the jordan commission after the chair, barbara jordan, who was a distinguished member of this committee. eight of the members were appointed by the house and senate majority leadership and the chairman was appointed by the president. the mandate was just very broad, and you have in your written testimony a copy of the executive summary of the commission report. ..
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let me try to trick quickly in the time i have summarized the recommendations on that part of its mandate. the commission was a strong supporter for properly regulated legal immigration system that serves the national interest, and it decried house devotee and discrimination against immigrants as antithetical to the traditions interest of the
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united states. it said that a well regulated immigration system enhances the potential benefits of immigration and but if it were not well regulated, it would not. the cash and said there was a need to set priorities and immigration because there was much more demand than there was available visa. it should set priorities and should deliver on those priorities. and with respect to the national interest, it said these were the three priorities. unification of immediate or the nuclear families is one of the families have already spoken to come admission of those highly skilled workers who are legitimately needed to support the international competitiveness of the work force as the previous witness has just mentioned, and refugee admissions which have not yet been mentioned a great deal. refugee admissions and other actions in the u.s. commitment to provide refuge to the persecuted. and a member of the visas should
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flow from those priorities. the third point was from the commission the third recommendation, and finding was that the policies that it was reviewing in the 1990's were broadly consistent with these priorities that the included elements among them that they were creating serious problems in the 1990's and the needed thoughtful attention. a fourth recommendation is that the priorities in the family category should be established and the commission concluded that the priority should be placed on the expeditious admission of immediate or nuclear family members in this order. spouses and minor children of the citizens, number one, parents of u.s. citizens number two and spouses and minor children of legal permanent. number three, if therefore recommended a reallocation of the visa in the family based system from the lower priority categories outside of those priorities those were the adel children and adult siblings of
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the u.s. citizens to the highest priority categories that i just listed. the problem with the lower priority category is that they've never been given very many visas and there was enormous demand, there for very large backlogs in those categories. so the recommendation was we should stop trying to manage the immigration by backlogged, and in fact we are making progress that we cannot keep and instead focus on the prompt admission for the highest priority categories. and had that been done all of those categories would have been admitted very promptly within one year of publication, but of course it didn't happen. in the absence of such committees backlogs have actually become longer and more extensive. the fifth recommendation is that a well regulated admission system for skilled immigrants is a national interest, and we have already heard them talk about that. i won't say a lot about it, but
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it's consistent with what she said. they contributed, when it needed they contributed to the global competitiveness of the work force and then there is a second point which we want immigrants to do well in the united states. we want them to prosper and if they are skilled they are more likely to prosper than if they were not. however, and this was a bit of a controversy of recommendation, they found that the labor certification process for this category did not protect u.s. workers from unfair employment competition and does not serve the national interests would advocated a new and more market-driven approach for this election among those categories. the sixth recommendation is the admission of low-skilled workers is not in the national interest. it recommended against the continuation of the small number of visas for the employment for low-skilled and unskilled workers and could find no compelling evidence that employers that offer adequate enumeration would face
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difficulties in hiring from the large pools of low-skilled and unskilled workers in the u.s. work force. and of course, large numbers of such workers would be continuing to flow much larger than the number of the visas in the category and continue to flow under the family and refugee categories. seventh, that admission of large numbers of temporary guest workers in agriculture and other fields the commission said would be a grievous mistake. the commission found such programs lead to the particularly harmful effects. guest workers are vulnerable to exploitation in their presence and large numbers depresses the wages and working conditions of u.s. workers which by the way includes recent immigrants to the >> we want to go ahead and just summarize each of the last two points because i know you want to get all of them in, but we are out of time. >> i mentioned the refugee thing and the commission had a regulated resettlement program
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and finally, it recommended flexibility and adaptability of the emigration policies needed as the circumstances changed. so, in my testimony you will see an example of another country with quite a lot of similarities to the u.s. in which they have come up with a way to have a more flexible system that is based on rigorous analysis of where the needed employment bases might be. and i will suspend at that point. >> and what country is that? >> that is the united kingdom. >> welcome. >> if you would hit the button on a microphone and pull it close. >> thank you. >> put close to you. pull the microphone close to you. >> distinguished chairman, ranking member and members of this committee, on behalf of the immigration and the highly skilled professionals and their families waiting for the permanent residence status to
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the united states, thank you for the opportunity to the reform. immigration is a grassroots organization of highly skilled men and women that have come together to advocate for a change in the green card system. i would like to talk about the problems faced by 1 million highly skilled and professionals and their families future americans most of whom have been implied in the united states for a decade but find themselves in line for a green card. our community is invested in america. so our innovation and productivity of our children are americans. this is our home. my journey to the employment backlog began in 1996 with a medical residency program at the university school of medicine and springfield followed by the fellowship and diabetes at the new york university school of medicine, and then to the mayo clinic in rochester minnesota for the fellowship and advanced
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diabetes. in 2003i joined a practice with the health partners medical group in st. paul minnesota and as the assistant professor of medicine at the university of minnesota medical school. my practice was in an underserved area with a population even so my national interest was significantly delayed. in 2008i lost the position of the clinical research, the world's largest biotechnology company. i was able to accept this offer only because a small window of relief offered in july of 2007 that allowed me to gain the worker authorization to get many of my colleagues in immigration were not so fortunate and still today they continue to lack the ability to change jobs without losing their place in the green card line. i now work as a medical director for early development and at the end of 2011, my green card application was finally approved after more than 15 years of life in the united states.
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as i continue to work for citizenship, i count myself as fortunate. today u.s. cis is at ticketing applications for the output is like me from the year 2004. spending a decade or more waiting for the residency they have stolen and professionals and on their families. children age out and the have to secure their own visa to go to college. traveling abroad or maintaining legal status has a confusion of time and money to renew the documents. they often cannot get grants and sat leven motivated parents cannot about children these problems generally arrive from the double backlogs. the green card shortage backlog and the country backlog and i want to make a few points on both of these things. we have the largest and the fastest-growing economy in the world. it's the fastest growing export. we are fighting of the green card numbers here, each of whom
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is a net job creator according to the american enterprise institute. while america is leading some of the best many of whom were trained in the u.s.. as parents of american children, we see first hand that america is struggling to produce qualified students, and i worry as the father of two wonderful girls. we held proposals to pay for the bargains in the states and we support that. it can only help and all held in this matter is welcome. the second part of the double backlog by want to start by thanking of the committee, and especially the representative smith and lofgren for their bi-partisan work on the country. we fell short in the senate and the overwhelming support. regardless, we know that just changing the quarter alone will not fix the green card but will help to alleviate some of the
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burden for most experienced highly skilled green card applicants, and again, we sincerely appreciate your efforts in this regard. saxby freakin' doctor. we are pleased to have you with us. >> thank you honchar man, and of course to the representative jackson and my home town representative smith, thank you for adding to the ranking member conyers as well as the members of the committee. i come to you today as many things come as an american, as an optimist, the grandson of an immigrant orphan from mexico who found opportunity in our great country, and as the mayor of the nation's seventh largest city, the community that looks like the texas and the america of tomorrow. immigration for all of us is more than a political issue. it is who we are as americans. from plymouth rock to ellis
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island and galveston to access to the sandy shores of florida and other rocky coast of california, immigrants have made this the greatest country in the world. today, however, our immigration system is badly broken. but there is hope. this hearing more importantly the bipartisan legislation that i believe can be enacted because of it shows that we are on the cusp of real progress. the president in a growing number of bi-partisan lawmakers have laid the framework for what americans support a comprehensive common sense reform. we must do at least three things to read further strengthen the border security, streamlined illegal immigration process so that the law abiding companies can get the workers need in the 21st century global economy and create a path to citizenship to bring the estimated 11 million
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undocumented immigrants in this country out of the shadows and into the full light of the american dream. in texas we know firsthand that this administration has put more boots on the ground along the border than any other time in our history which has led to the unprecedented success in removing dangerous in the details with criminal records. but democrats and republicans can agree that the work to ensure america's safety and security is ongoing and should be a part of any future legislative agenda. the reforms that you have on the table are also pro-family, and they are pro-business. outdated a visa applications that separate husbands and wives, mothers and children and the brothers and sisters for years and sometimes decades make no sense. it also makes no sense that while some employers choose to flaunt the world law and exploit employees, other companies that want to play by the rules are
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handcuffed by the rigid employment and burdensome regulations. every year as competition increases across the globe, american companies to grow up their hands and watch engineers, nurses and the engineers who are trained in american universities, leaving frustration only to invent a product, heal the sick and innovate in other countries. what americans deserve is a system that works. a system that is sufficient, accountable, that in the nation's best interest puts the undocumented immigrants already here on the road to rm citizenship. those immigrants take on many faces from virginia to north carolina to utah. in san antonio those faces include students like the anita.
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like many so-called dreamers that has brought to this country a child from mexico she learned english, played by the rules and achieved a stunning academic success even before becoming the valedictorian of my all modern, thomas jefferson high school in san antonio, she was a national merit scholar and earned a bachelor's degree by the time she was 20-years-old. by any measure she is an american success story. but under the current immigration law, she is in limbo. america is her home in every single sense of the word. except under our broken immigration system. since the signing of the declaration of independence, america has distinguished itself as the land of opportunity, the place where but human spirit is free to reach its full potential. in this 21st century global economy, we need immigrants like her to be competitive.
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but we all know that as one generation of americans has passed on to the next, this great nation has drawn tremendous strength from immigrants redican from germany or italy or india, or mexico, the hearing is a great start. but the hearing is not enough. let's rise above the political fray. let's once again show no challenge is too big for america. ladies and gentlemen, america is watching. let's get this done. thank you. >> you gave an excellent statement, and i thought it was full and complete, but apparently i called you before your time is expired, and may be before your statement was finished. do you want to summarize your statement? >> thank you.
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i just have a little bit left. the benefits of removing the limits to only one nation in this world, the united states of america pivotal summit like, we do not care we just want to fix not in five years, ten years. on that note there are so many proposals for the high school immigration reform that includes the additional u.s. stem visa, early filing exemption for the physicians to provide service in underserved areas to be supportive of these. we are extremely encouraged by the introduction of the emigration act of 2013 and the senate come and we held a similar bipartisan bill will be introduced in the house. this innovation economy is global in the markets and the fall when professionals in america creating products for the markets will not wait forever. our future to the united states as of those of our children.
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the growth of america's economy and the availability of jobs are of great significance to us and our families. we want nothing more than to see america prospered and go by remaining the most nation on the face of the earth. on behalf of the emigration rights again my sincere gratitude for this opportunity and the hearing that you've given me today. thank you. >> thank you, doctor. i will begin the questioning with you. which do you believe is a greater factor in encouraging the students and workers on the temporary visa to return home. difficulties receiving the green cards in the u.s. or expanding opportunities in their home countries? >> they're both. and second, we surveyed several hundred returned. they said was a greater opportunity. but i know in dealing with my students what happens is they look for jobs because they want to stay in for two or three years after they graduate. they can't get jobs because countries want a visa or they are worried about hiring
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foreigners because the backlash. >> i have better question and i'm going to go quickly because i have several want to ask a short period of time. as i noted in my youth in a statement, other primary immigrant receiving countries like the u.k. and canada and australia select over 60% of their immigrants based on their education and skills while the united states selects a little more than 10% on the basis. but tide of immigration system to you think makes the most sense for america? >> we need both, but right now we need more skilled -- >> we are talking got ratios. the percentage. >> the skilled immigrants dramatically. >> great. thank you. >> next, we eliminate the diversity lottery program. since the jordan commission recommendations were issued in the magnitude of 800,000 diversity green cards that have been issued, can these green cards have been better utilized
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for another higher priority? >> that was indeed the recommendation that it should be used for the higher priority categories. from the vantage point commission stated unless there is a compelling national interest to do otherwise come immigrants should be chosen on the basis of the skills to contribute to the u.s. economy. the commission believes the commission of the nuclear family members and refugees provide such a compelling national interest to the unification of adult children and siblings of all citizens solely because of the family relationship is not as compelling. isn't this what some refer to as chain migration and isn't it true that over 2.5 million siblings of u.s. citizens are now on a waiting list for green cards and some will have to bleed over two decades? what does this say about the credibility of the aspect of the system? >> yes, that is true. that is what we referred to as
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the management by backlogs in which he made promises that cannot be fulfilled and you get these the enormous and very long backlogs that are built not. as of the recommendation is that these numbers would be reallocated to the higher priority categories that we mentioned and then there would be immediate admission of those people and no backlog in those categories. >> thank you. neyer come uzi to the comprehensive immigration reform should do two things come a secure the border, streamlined the immigration process and provide a path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants. do you think that interior enforcement should play a role to discourage future immigration by those not documented by making jobs to them unavailable? should that be a part of that comprehensive immigration reform? >> i do believe that enforcement
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under this administration there's been tremendous progress with regard to enforcement and in fact it triggers a 2007 proposal just about all. but going forward, of course, enforcement is a part of the conversation. >> one of the aspects of enforcement that doesn't get as much attention although it does get attention and some of the states that have attempted to do things about it is the fact that a large percentage of people that are not lawfully in the united states entered legally on student visas, business visas and overstayed, and so the border, securing the border is not a component in dealing with that aspect of the unlawful immigration. it has to be done in the interior of the country with verification programs, with regard to employment, cooperation among the various law enforcement authorities and so on. do you think that should be part? >> i agree that we could make the system work better for everyone including employers,
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including in airports in each and every way both in terms of border security and interior security, a comprehensive immigration reform gives the opportunity to make this work better on every single tonsure. >> i want to give you the opportunity to answer the question of the day and that is the best. our other options we should consider between the extremes of the mass deportation and a pathway to citizenship for those that are not lawfully present in the united states? >> let me say that i do believe that a pathway to citizenship should be the option the congress selects. i do not see that as an extreme option to read in fact, as one of the representatives pointed out, as we look at our history, generally what we found is that congress over time has chosen option, that path to citizenship. so, i see that -- i would disagree with the characterization as the extreme.
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the extreme i would say just to fill that out with the open borders. nobody agrees with open borders. everyone agrees we need to secure the border. the question is what to do with a 10 million or more that are not lawfully here. do you think others are open to finding some ground between a pathway to citizenship and the current law which would be to require deportation in many circumstances whether that is being enforced today or not. >> i believe that as the president has pointed out as the senators that have worked on this have pointed out for both parties that a path to citizenship is the best option. i also understand that in terms of getting what you may be thinking about, a guest worker program in the future has also been put out there. i know that there are some concerns about how you would set that up. but if you want to deal with issues going forward, that may
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be one way to do it. however, in terms of the 11 million folks that are here, essentially putting the ninth half to citizenship, ensuring that after the taxes they pay a fine, they learn english, they get to the back of the line, that is the best option. >> thank you. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> thank you, chairman, and i want to thank you to the witness is on the first panel to the you have done a good job. we may not have settled much, but that's the way these start out, isn't it? i just wanted to see if we could get a little more agreement on the chairman's last question of what to read with 11 million people that are already here.
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are there any of you that still have reservations about the path to citizenship that is firm and fair? we are not going to jail them or send them back. can we have a small agreement on that one question? what do you think? >> we believe that the balanced approach to this is one that is fair and it is a win-win situation for everyone. like i said before, we tend to be focused on issues that we are very familiar with, having been to the employment based immigration system, but certainly we would like to see is attrition where the congress comes together and agree on something that can go and get past by the senate and actually
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find some of these problems and a balanced program would like to not view immigration as a zero sum game and i think that we would all agree that it doesn't have to be that way. >> do you think that among other reasonable people with strong differing views can come up with the elements of the path to citizenship that get us through this very difficult problem? >> i think the low hanging fruit is the children. i don't believe any human being would argue that there some to be deported. we should give them citizenship without thinking twice. the issue is about the law. that is a very strong point was made. what you do is you give them in definite status instead of citizenship. there are other ways of slicing this. they want to be there and they
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want to raise their children. but we do not have to discuss the parting them. we have to legalize them so they can pay taxes and participate as regular u.s. citizens do. without calling them citizens. >> i know some of my colleagues are reluctant on the permanent in definite status. this is one of the things that makes the country great. you can become a citizen you are either born here or you earn your way and has an american and we are all citizens equally. so i have just a little bit of reluctance about having somebody here, an immigrant permanently. >> to my mind, it would be unprecedented to create a class
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of folks who are stuck in this kind of limbo that are not allowed to become citizens, but almost everything that to that line. we draw our strength as americans from citizenship that is the essence of who we are. throughout the history of the nation the biggest challenges that we face have been when we created second-class citizens much less second class non-citizens. so i believe the path to citizenship is the best option. >> have we reached a state where in terms of border security i get the impression that we are doing a little better. the rates are going down. fewer people are coming over.
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we are spending tons of money. what do you see in the area that we might want to look at the chairman agrees we should send some judiciary committee members down for serious examination after having talked with security people here before we go there? >> are you asking me to speak on behalf of the commission on immigration reform? >> in your personal view. >> i traveled along that border many times. it is -- there is no such thing as the average border situation all along that border. there are huge variations across the border as to what is happening. mauney impression is from the data that i've seen, the number of attempted crossings has declined. there are more votes on the ground as someone else said. there is also a deep recession
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in the united states since 2008, and more rapid economic growth south of the border. so, you've got competing explanations of what is going on, and i don't think that we can actually answer your question, mr. minority member, as to whether the enforcement efforts are the primary cause of that trend. >> can you give them a good grade so far? >> can i do what? >> can you give them a fair great so far? i think that there have been serious efforts, increased efforts along the border. i don't think that there have been serious efforts in the interior as one of the other members mentioned. if you do not have interior enforcement, it really doesn't matter how good your border enforcement is. you will still -- people will find a way around the very year if they can find work easily in
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the united states. >> it is now my pleasure to recognize the gentleman from texas, mr. smith. >> thank you mr. schramm for your thoughtful approach to the subject at hand. one thing that i think all of the members can agree upon and i assume the panelists as well is that immigrants or car, they create jobs and they set an example of how to achieve the american dream. emigration has made the country great. as the chairman pointed out, america is the most generous country in the world. we have 1 million illegal immigrants every year. that is about as many as every other country combined. so there isn't even a close second when it comes to our generosity. i do think that generosity gives us the ability to say we need to devise an immigration system that is in the best interest of america and of americans. one way in my view to improve
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our legal immigration system, and that is the subject at hand, is to admit more immigrants on the basis of the skills that america needs today. we had at about 6% of the legal immigrants today on the basis of their skills. that happens to be i think the lowest percentage of any industrialized country in the world. so, i was like to get us back to where we where we emphasize and encourage immigrants that have the skills that america needs. but we need to do so in a way that does not jeopardize the jobs of americans who are in this country working either citizens or legal immigrants. we don't want to jeopardize their wages. so, my question is this how do we admit skilled immigrants without hurting american workers? >> if you look at all the data come every single study that has been done shows that when you bring skilled immigrants in, they create jobs and right now
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we are in an innovation economy. skilled immigrants are more important only to create jobs but to make us innovative and help us solve major problems. so, bringing the right people in and you'll make it better for everyone and we can bring in more unskilled as well because it will have a bigger economy. the population of america's decline unless we, you know, keep immigration going at least. >> i'm not sure that he's going to agree with you on the low skills, but -- >> i would say in answer to your question, one way is to not add much larger numbers as temporary admissions than you have the visa for the permanent admissions or you will negatively influenced the work force. second is a much more effective means of assessing the effect of admissions of skilled workers and in particular areas on u.s. workers. so you don't want to i would say it is a personal statement not
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for the commission come you don't want to admit all of the workers because the tight labor markets are in some parts, but definitely not in other parts, and this committee has actually reflected that. i guess it was in your bill, mr. chairman, that it was passed one time or two times in reflecting the difference at the ph.d. level but was very smart of you. >> thank you. any comment on that? >> thank you. that is a couple of important things to you brought up a very good point and if it's important to protect american workers at the same time have a robust system where skilled immigrants can come in and fill the needs. one of the problems we have today is we have restricted the mobility of the skilled workers that come into the country. they are trapped in jobs for long periods for the promotion can be denied, the have no way of going to another employer that is willing to offer a wage
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or a chance that based on the experience that they have gained over time and towards the skills on the demand for job i think with these long periods of the restrictions on the job mobility this lack to tell us what the demand is is a problem. >> thank you. let me follow with a question that the chairman was asking a minute ago. do you see a compromise to area between the current status quo or the path to citizenship for all of the 11 million or more in the country today? >> i see the compromise as a recognition that a path to citizenship will be your citizenship. in other words -- >> in other words the path to citizenship regardless one way or another. >> that is the best option and
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history has borne out that that served the united states best. >> let me ask all panelists this question and since my time is up i will say this, is there any witness today who does not agree that we ought to have a system that requires employers to check to make sure that they are hiring illegal workers? is their anyone who would disagree in that system? >> it was a recommendation of the u.s. commission on immigration. >> you and i worked together to try to implement the commission recommendations and we came awfully close until the clinton administration reversed their endorsement. but if everybody agrees with some kind of a system to make sure that employers only hire illegal workers. thank you. >> thank you the gentleman. the gentleman from new york is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you mr. chairman. mayor castro, your testimony said that we must do at least three things in the immigration reform. further strengthen the border security, streamlined the
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illegal immigration practices that the law-abiding countries can get the work they need to create the path to citizenship. the emigration reforms should do and that is to eliminate the unjustified discrimination that is present in the system. one such discrimination is certainly the fact that people other than gay and lesbian can sponsor their spouses for immigration into the united states so that you do not keep them separated whereas under all of course gay and lesbian people cannot marry other gay and lesbian people. at least the federal government recognizes the state's wealth. so, that fell all works and what i would call a cruelty on people, and unnecessary cruelty because under our law it may be that of the partner of an
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american citizen can't be here and under law of the foreign country to maybe they can't go there and you are keeping people apart. now there is legislation and the american families act which would establish an equivalency so that the question of the marriage is a part as a separate question. we will not have the cruelty of keeping loving couples apart by allowing a gay person or lesbian person to sponsor his or her partner for immigration to the we are free introducing that bill today live away. it has good bipartisan -- it has support of republicans as well as democrats, church leaders, members in the caucus and more recently the president of the united states. do you think this is a good or an essential piece of a comprehensive immigration reform? i think it is good for the head in defeat comprehensive immigration reform, and as you suggest, i believe that there would be significant support for
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that. i myself support marriage equality but even for folks that support only civil unions and certain rights partners would have i believe this is right in that vein in that it makes sense to disconnect i just want to make clear that this is not the question of the marriage. if you had the marriage, you wouldn't -- and would be moved, this is a question of enabling people to be together who otherwise cannot be that for no purpose at all. the united states should never engaged. i have a question for you and that is you know in your testimony that there was a broken across-the-board harming businesses and separating families. there are some supports increasing the number in the employment based system and we have heard that, but only in the commensurate members eliminated from the family basis. do you buy into this zero sum approach, and can we be a nation
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of these business trips in keeping families together? >> thank you for the question, representative. i agree that this is not a zero sum game. there is no reason that we need to choose between these. i believe that we should have both employment base and continue the family base allocations as well as of course addressing the issue of high skilled immigrants and other skilled immigrants. i would also frankly suggest that being able to pick crops in the sun for 12, 14 hours a day to do backbreaking work is a kind of skilled maybe not what we would call a high skill but certainly that many folks do not or cannot do so to answer your question that is a false dichotomy. >> one more question. using some of the strongest recommendations for against the
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temporary worker programs noting that the admitting the large number in the agriculture and other fields would become a cult, and egregious mistakes. i must say i am very ambivalent about this. on the one hand, i worry about the guest worker programs bidding down the wages and all the other hand, the native work force without a high school diploma was around 50% in the 1940's and 50's and it's now down to about 6%. as a native born and better educated, they've been less willing to engage in farm work, but the demand for the farm labor has not decreased. so, my question is if we still have the need for the farm labor, the reduction in the population of native workers likely to look for work in this sector do we have the need for the guest worker program? is it naive to think if we get the workers that these jobs would just get taken by american workers and is such a program in fact cutting down on bidding down american wages?
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>> again, this is going to be my fault, not the commission. the commission was recommending against large-scale temporary worker programs for the reasons i indicated. i agree with that recommendation and think it is still to be true. there's a large population of low and unskilled workers many of whom are unemployed and the relatively unemployable. the conditions of work offered in some of the jobs you are talking about are not very attractive compared to the alternative sources of income as citizens. therefore you have a saturation in which the market disposes towards the dependence on the unauthorized migrants. in addition, you have decisions made by employers where to invest or where to plant and what plans to plant. are they labor-intensive or not labor-intensive plants based upon the assumption of continued access to this kind of labor.
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so you have a kind of mutual dependency if you well situation in which it is correct as they might say if you take away my work force now, all of my plants and crops would rot in the field. but if they were pretty certain the war not going to have that future work force in the future, they would make different decisions about which ones to grow and where to grow them, but why should they if they assume they are going to have that work force? >> the time of the gentleman has expired and we recognize the gentleman from alabama for five minutes. >> thank you. let me ask each one of you for of yes or no answer. if you can and if you can't i will forgive you to pass. >> yes or no? >> if you can't answer do you think our immigration policies ought to be based on our own national interest? in other words what is best for america?
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>> we all agree on that. do we all agree that attracting high skilled legal immigrants is in our best interest? the chairman mentioned australia and canada, and obviously high skilled workers in mathematics, science technology, they've actually created jobs in those countries, they created jobs for native of trillions and canadians and it's brought down their unemployment rate. but do all of you agree that that is in our best interest and there is less contentious issues with our highly skilled workers? >> in principle, yes. but you must be careful not to be sure american kids from going into those fields. so, you just have to do it right. >> but it is less contentious
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than with our undocumented and unskilled workers. would you agree? >> yes. >> so yes? >> i agree with the need to encourage the high skilled immigration. >> now, the chairman mentioned some countries, these are countries all of which have significantly lower unemployment rates than america are actually attempting to attract the entrepreneurs, engineers, mathematicians, scientists, people skilled and technology, and i think that we all agree we have seen cases of these people, some of the university of alabama birmingham, and then going back to india, going back to china and starting jobs that compete and take jobs away from our people and that is a tragedy and germany doesn't do that, chile doesn't do that, australia doesn't do that, canada didn't
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do that, so should we design a system that prioritizes cannot exclude the others, but prioritizes those individuals? >> yes. once again as long as it doesn't deter the kids from going -- >> let me say that also in certain areas where they are americans that can fill those positions. >> the general point is that you might end up with fewer people than to discourage the inflow of people from the largest source of the occupations who are american citizens. >> okay. >> we believe there is a need to reform the way that the immigration is done today. >> i believe there is a need to reform the immigration for the highly skilled workers but also believe there is the need to reform the entire system. steny absolutely. we all agree. but i think that my point is, and i think that each of you would agree, it is going to be
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much easier left to solve the problem of the highly skilled workers. this house has passed on one occasion a bill which would address that and the present system for our highly skilled and entrepreneurs is diametrically opposed to what is in canada, australia with great success and created hundreds of thousands of jobs and actually has put americans out of work because we refuse to do that here. we agree on that. i think that 99%, 100% i think that the gentleman from michigan, the former chair and i agree and i think that we could pass the bill that would take that off the table. when you take a comprehensive, then we are dealing with certain issues like the full citizenship and whatever else we disagree on
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we are granting full amnesty, and i would hope that we could address those on two different paths because we can pass something and solve the problem that is putting americans out of work and is enabling other countries to compete successfully and take jobs away. i would hope that you'll agree with that and not let the less contentious issues and the idea of comprehensive reform preventive for this year, this month and the next two or three months passing to address what is a horrible situation in this country and as we are treating people to go back to their country and compete against them. we've mentioned google, intel, ebay, microsoft and all of those countries the ceos say every
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one of those people are hired are keeping america, i can hire three americans, too. islamic the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina. >> so that nobody is misled, i am a strong supporter of a system that encourages high skilled workers, but the composition of this panel may leave the oppression that i hope is not the one that we intend to leave, that with us all of the emigration reforms are about, and so i want to be clear that
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google, yahoo!, intel, e day were all found it and run by ed immigrants but none of them came under the skilled worker visa program. they came here as family based immigrants refugees are children of refugees. so, just to be absolutely clear on this emphasis that seems to be placed on high skilled visas and reform are we clear that that is not to the exclusion of other kinds of immigration reform and encouragement of other immigrants? and if i can get clarity from
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all four witnesses, i just want that on the record. >> we can't lose time on the skills because right now the u.s. economy is in a slump. we are in the middle of a major invention. our competitive fertilizing immigrants are fleeing and we wrote a book about the exodus so we have to fix the evidence that are here waiting for green cards. we do not talk about them. we need to fix that without a doubt, but we cannot wait on the million because they are leaving and america is bleeding right now. >> but if we are doing all of this immediately, i don't want to do that to the exclusion of doing the rest of the immigration reform. just to be cleared from your recommendation that you are not
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encouraging the workers, that is not the -- that recommendation was not about eliminating other kinds of non-skill based immigration either, was it? >> you may remember the recommendation on families immigrations recommended the establishment of these priorities and the rapid admission of people in these priority groups. that is by far the biggest category of illegal immigrants. >> doctor, if i can get you all to be as clear i am trying to document a record here so no one comes back later and says this hearing was only about highly skilled, hi skill visas, high skilled workers at addition to the country that would be a misperception of what we should
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be coming away with. so if you can help me clarify the record i would be appreciative. is the mccreary grassroots organization and support a bill in the past and the congress is to come up with a bill that we can all agree on we would be happy to back it and support its. in the and we would like to see these problems solved whether you do then steps and individual to take an approach that everything can be done together, we would leave up to your judgment, but we realize that it is a complex problem and there are many parts of this. >> i absolutely believe that this issue of immigration reform should be addressed comprehensively, and i would also add that even though it might seem as was said easy to do just one part of this, the stem bill that was supposed be easy didn't get through the senate and the better option is to address this comprehensively
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at one time that would impact the entire system in a positive way. .. if i ask you to go back and take is one is you needed to draft this comprehensive piece of legislation, we pass it added here and we pass it of the senate and the president signed into law, some people will disagree with portions of it. some people try to circumvented, some people who break it.
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of what you did best forward now. your young men to maintain years from now we ask you to come back and testify before us and we find that the people that circumvented the law or rather to norton million. should we be prepared to draft a new path of citizenship for those 10 million people that circumvented the law the euro? >> thank you very much for the question the when i know that this has been a concern with regard to the 1986 law. in fact, i am very pleased that the bipartisan effort so far as proposed by the president in the senate includes stronger interior enforcement. >> and i don't want to interrupt you. you can put all you want on the record, but i am saying, you have written a lot. we do everything we can and despite our best efforts there will be people who break in circumvent that law. for those individuals, should we be expected to, ten years from now, right and the path of
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citizenship for those individuals however many there might be? >> with all due respect, i just don't think that that is a question that can be answered right now. it is such a hypothetical question. believe that if the congress does an excellent job al -- >> i use saying that you don't believe there will be a people that supplement the law no matter how well write it? is that your testimony? >> i would not disagree that there may be folks is circumvent. >> and as to those individuals, should we be prepared at some point in time to and years down the road or whenever to be prepared to write a new path to citizenship. >> i believe that is a question hopefully that will have to be answered in a significant measure by congress in the future if you do a job right this time. >> you believe if we do the job right there will not the individuals to circumvent that lot down the road? and the reason i say that is we have to ask this tough question. easy to talk of a comprehensive reform if we don't ask and answer those tough questions. the ranking member said there is
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so much that we agree on, and they agree with that comprehensively, but we cannot just take a concept like comprehensive knowledge get the detail because sometimes the devil is in the details. when you talk about a lot of individuals or year and not documented are here not legal or illegally, one of the things are working in good people. there are a few of them here, for example, testimony we have before this committee of the rise in day activity that we had in the country. to estimate that 85 percent of one game to the individuals were here illegally. if we have someone here who is here illegally and now one of the hard working people, but someone who is a member of of violent criminal gang, should we be compared -- prepared to deport them before they commit a criminal act or will they also have a pat the citizens of? >> i think there is agreement
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across the board that someone has committed -- >> no, before they have committed a violent, criminal act come here illegally and are a member of the violent criminal gang should reveal to deport them before they commit that kind of criminal act or should they also the will to have a pat the citizenship. >> if you determine them guilty before they've committed -- >> not guilty. and saying they're here illegally. they acknowledge it we prove that they are a member of the violent, criminal gang, should we be able to remove them from the kutcher before they commit another -- before they commit a violent criminal act. >> i would just say that i believe that in sharing that america is free of folks who have committed violent crime, that that is -- should be a priority. with regard to the hypothetical, people who might commit a crime or might not commit a crime, you know, i readily concede that i am not in law enforcement.
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i am not a technical expert in that regard, but i do believe that folks to have committed a violent crime should be deported ♪ and the reason i tell you, this exact situation happened in boston, and a lady 55 yen girl was raped and brutally beaten. the individuals that were here illegally, members of violent criminal gangs and temporary protected -- tipper protective status. i hear this and refuse to pass it. and so with that, mr. chairman, i see that my time is expired, but there's other kind of questions that we need answers for. unfortunately that is going to be part of a we have to fair and out of the next several weeks and months. with that, i yield back. >> i think the gentleman. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california for five minutes. >> thank you. before my question of like to ask unanimous consent to place in the record 22 statements from various individuals, including
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religious organizations, social organizations, labor organizations as well as eight op-ed from the washington times today from matt stater, the dean of the law school at liberty university. >> welcome the thing is, the reid university is a fine institution in the sixth congressional district of virginia. i think very highly of being in favor. we will have been all of those without objection. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. >> could i have unanimous consent to introduce an article that appeared in saturday's loss street journal on our declining birth rates -- >> without objection that will be made a part of the record as well. ali rear-ended, the gentleman, we voted your full five minutes, but also asked to consent to have a joint statement by the comprehensive immigration reform coalition and the national hispanic christian conference of
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which dean stager is a member. also made a part of the record. without objection all of these documents be put in the record and that gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is been so interesting to listen to the question so far. you know, in fact, a person can be found deportable melt not just if you are convicted of an offense, but if you have admitted to committing all the elements of a criminal offense even though you have not been convicted. i think we have a unique approach into the here to come up with a situation where another congress will be dealing with the same problem. dr. richard land who was the president of the southern baptist convention was a witness before the subcommittee and over the years ago.
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so he set for many years there were two signs of the southern border one said no trespassing in the other set help-wanted. tornado provision to meet the economic and civilian needs of the country. we have a situation where we have 2 million migrant farmworkers and 80 or 90 percent of them are here without papers providing vital service that the united states. you can do e-verify and find out of there not properly your. will we need to do is provide a system that will actually meet our needs, but in the economy, whether high-tech, whether agriculture, and that also respect the needs pro-american families to be united. i would just add, is not my
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belief that my son and daughter are chain migration. my son and daughter are a part of my nuclear family, and that the minister for americans to have sons and daughters abroad. i think it would be such a tragedy if we became sidetracked on whether not the 11 million here in response to the hell's -- help-wanted sign at the border can never become right with the law and never have the aspiration to become an american. we are not talking about giving u.s. citizenship to anybody. will we are to -- we are saying is, over some time that is arduous you might gain legal permanent residents in the united states. then if you pay thousands of dollars, and everything there is to know about the american government to learn english so well that you can pass the test
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and then switch to defend the constitution and be willing to go fight for your country only in that case could you come an american citizen. i just think that the king back to the dean he said that we should include appropriate penalties a commitment of full participation in american society is learning english, but hard-working, undocumented neighbors who aspired to be fully american, it must end with citizenship, not a permanent second-class status. acting that we should -- i hope that people will read the op-ed because it is really very compelling. i would like to ask you and, first, thank you to everyone for being here. you have been excellent, but mayor castro, you have talked about immigration, your
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grandparents and my guess, just like mine, more immigrants. one of the arguments that has not been made here, but made some time in the country is that somehow today's immigrants are different than the old immigrants, the good immigrants from before. the german immigrants coming it was said when they came would not learn english or the irish did not need to apply. the italians were somehow morally not the same as the people there were joining. now that all seems preposterous. have you seen any evidence that today's immigrants from latin america are any less territory than the immigrants from our american past, any less willing to learn english, become patriotic americans? can you got this. >> thank you for the question. this generation of immigrants and convinces just as hard working, just as patriotic and
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safely as and rents in generations before that help build a bigger country that we live in today, i know that there has been sometimes, unfortunately that the characterization, but in san antonio i see both folks who graduated to a valedictorian of her as "class, national merit scholar, graduated from the college at the age of 20. big dream still wants to be productive for the country. that is the caliber of immigrant , whether it is someone like benito or someone who is working very hard in the agriculture industry, working 12, 14 hours a day. these are hard-working folks that are positively contributing to the progress of our nation. >> i see my time has expired, mr. chairman. >> i thank the gentlewoman. the committee is going to take a very brief recess for those of you need to accommodate your
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cells. you'll have five ministers of. we will stand in recess until -- well, make it until 12:20 p.m. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> today -- we will reconvene we
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will continue our questioning by members of the committee and the chair now turns to the gentleman from iowa, mr. cain, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman and would this is for your testimony. this has been engaging hearing and i am looking forward to your answers and the rest of the testimony. i turn first to mr. lot a lot. yours was, i think, and i am over here on your left, yours was, i think, the most engaging. when you talked about the inspiration that comes from the eds braces that we have and how it can transform not just american society but a global society, but what i notice is that the dialogue that has crept in almost all of american society as we are not supporting the term emigrant no means, as i listen to the panel, if i were just a casual observer here, i would not know whether we're talking of a legal or illegal, and that did not know whether you work.
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could you define that for me and let me know what your intentions were? >> researching and talking about it, people who came here lawfully coming into the front door, student visas, started companies, boosted on to bigger ship, 52 percent of silicon valley, a 25% nationwide with the numbers having gone to research -- researchers that we're struggling immigrants into the inertia because it will not give them visas. lawful, skilled immigrants. we keep talking about 11 million, 10 million undocumented and unskilled workers, illegal workers. bill tucker of the 1 million skilled immigrants trapped in limbo. doctors designed to stall lawyers connected visas. >> as i listen to your testimony, and i should be focusing on you are talking about illegal immigrants and they're contribution as skilled workers. >> exactly. based upon merit. i remember the hearings that we had here in this room. that number falls pretty good as
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between seven and 11%. i agree with that. a your advocacy we should take a number of legal immigrants and focus on the skilled worker side of this, which would be sound, which i support. think that is the right direction to go. and i turned to mayor castro and i recall you mentioning that it is not a zero sum gain that we can have both skilled workers and unskilled workers and family reunification. and so when i -- zero sum gain always gets my attention because we have about 6 billion people on the planet. that would be a universe that you have addressed, i think, but do you believe that there should be a limit to the number of people brought into the united states, especially if we could all have the legal? and what is that number? >> thank you for the question. first, let me say that i won't say that i could set a number for you right here, representative king.
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i will say, of course, like every country, there are only a certain number of folks who will be permitted to enter the united states, but i just don't believe that it is a zero sum game. i do think that the answer is to increase the number of high skilled immigrants that we have, but also to put the folks who are already here -- >> but mayor castro, i am hearing here is that you would not put a limit on any of those groups. you would just love those categories essentially by demand . and demand is potentially entire population of the planet. the me ask you another question, and that is to not you believe that an immigration policy in this country should be established to enhance the economic, social, and cultural wellbeing of the united states? >> well, i think that you and i agree that our immigration policy should enhance the economic, social well-being of the united states. >> thank you. >> i believe that it has been
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shown that immigrants, high skilled immigrants have what you would consider low skilled immigrants to benefit the economic progress of the united states. >> thank you, and i turned to mr. teitelbaum. i just recall the young lady from california saying that the agriculture would collapse if all of a sudden we did not have the immigrant labor to do that. did you agree with that or do you care to eliminate that? >> again, this is my comment, not the commission's comment. but if you suddenly removed the entire work force of fruit and vegetable agriculture in california and the southwest, it would collapse, but that is not the question. the question really is should you continue to depend on continuing inflows of people to be the work force of that industry? >> would you agree that there are many businesses in this country that had been predicated
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upon the presumption that there would be unskilled and often illegal labour to fill those ranks? and that our choice economic structure that we see in the united states would be dramatically different if the promise of the 86 and missed the act had been upheld? >> yes. there are many industries. i talked of farmers in a tent -- and they tell me they make decisions of what crops to plant based upon access. >> i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. >> i think the chair very much. let me particularly think all of you for your time here today. very important process that we are going through, and if i have never felt the spirit of the greatness of america and what we are capable of doing, it yesterday, and it is now because of all of your testimony. i want to put into the record correctly that in this year,
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2012, relating to border security i also serve on a common security committee and border patrol agents apprehended 356,873. in 2012 under the president obama administration and the budget has doubled from just under six and a half to over 11 and a half. that is an important note to me for this record as we look at how we balance security and comprehensive immigration reform. i absolutely believe in spite of your differing interest that we cannot suffer a piecemeal process. it must be a comprehensive process. and so let me thank you for your intellect ingenious and ask this question quickly. those individuals who have come who are not technological giants, many of them were trained in america's institutions of higher learning. is that not accurate? >> correct. >> so the likes of these american citizens.
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a number of those that uc, to will, yahoo, they went through the nation institution of higher learning. could it not also be that the children of those who have different skills ultimately go to stanford, harvard, princeton, and be the same kind of genius that immigrants have been or -- when i say immigrants, those youngsters that you speak of? so that if you happen to be the child of an unskilled, undocumented person, you could also attain genius by going to those schools. >> i agree, and my children are going to outdo me. >> is also true that many flock to the united states because of institutions of higher learning that have the excellent professors such as yourself? >> absolutely. >> and it is a commitment of america to make sure that those individuals that may not necessarily be the children of first-generation immigrants, but those who look to this jury and
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say what will happen to me commission will look to the promise of america for everyone? african-american, asian, hispanic and anglo? >> i agree with that as well. >> would you commit then when you educate technological people that they should look to make sure everyone has an opporunity jack. >> there is amiss -- there is no disagreement on any of these points. >> only talk abut immigration reform is it an important message that no one be left out? >> i read, with the issue of timing right now is critical because we are bleeding. we need the talent, innovation to cure the economy. this is why i emphasize this over everything else. >> we thank you for that, and let me make you a commitment. and right there with you. we put the skilled immigrants right there with comprehensive migration reform and will forward together. you're absolutely right. you have my commitment. if i might ask you a question about two issues. working with immigrant issues, let me first of all say how enduring the dream youngsters
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are. i spend a lot of time with them and my office and led to some other fall on the ground screaming in my office. we were able to say that we might tally the third circumstance. tragically i saw a person who had a serious neurological issue the expelled from one of our public hospital while her husband paid taxes, sales taxes, other taxes, much of hospital facility was built on commander child was a document to the individual. can you speak to the horror of us not to doing comprehensive immigration reform, the pains of those kinds of stories? can we put a face and those kinds of stories and can you related to the diversity of your city that includes african-americans and others who have come together and works together and have shown productivity when we work together. >> well, i am proud of san antonio. over the years people from
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different backgrounds. many immigrants have come and built up one of the nation's leading cities today, but you're right. i hear the stories, met with the dreamers, folks, oftentimes, who are doing great in high-school. they find out that they are not here documented. they call the united states home. america is the only country ever called home. there as patriotic as anybody else. they worry every day about their parents. they worry about themselves and whether there will be trapped with very little future despite the fact that they have great talent and a lot to offer the country. it rips families apart at the seams to be in this kind of limbo, and it injures communities because we are not fully able to take advantage of the brain power of those young people. i believe that brainpower is the currency of success in the study for century economy. i'll also agree with you that the brain power comes from many different corners.
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my grandmother came to san antonio past texas in 1922 has a 6-year-old orphan. she was not a high skilled worker, but two generations letter to my you know, our grandson is the mayor of the city, and the other branson is the congressman from san antonio. these are the stories that we must pay heed to well we think about the need to do this. >> the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from texas -- texas is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you to the witnesses for being here today. [laughter] >> mayor, you are right. we do have to put faces on things, and like when i saw the president with children gathered around him as he is often doing now, think about the financial burden we are putting our
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children. first generation in american history that is actually making things worse for future generations instead of sacrificing ourselves. we are spending money like crazy to my part of this health care. we have just had obamacare a couple of years ago pass, and no seniors are seeing a massive cuts that are affecting their ability to get health care. one of the problems, it seems, with our economy, the overspending, with the burden on health care is that even though people in business, the chamber of los to look the other way sometimes some people coming in illegally, if they are working, providing cheap labor, the rest of americans are paying for the health care of those who come in
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if there are coming in illegally. the health care is free to those individuals, but somebody is paying. i just wonder, in know, as we hear farmers apparently it is essential that they have immigrant workers, and, harvest crops and create that over and over. but many of you have any problem with saying, okay, you want to bring in temporary workers to harvest a crop, then you need an umbrella health insurance policy that covers the people you're bringing in to work temporarily fat. i am looking for rows for compromise, where we can work something out. accommodate those in need temporary workers and yet not continue to of mess with the system. would anybody be offended by a requirement that an employer who brings in temporary workers provide an umbrella health insurance policy?
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anybody? >> i would just say, representative gummer, that, you know, had not given that thought, but i do believe that we need to address the 11 million folks who are already here. and with regard to future workforce needs -- >> well, and i and a stand that, mayor, but that is not the direction my question -- and since my time is limited, i do need to move on. but you have all agreed that our policy should be what is in the best interest of the united states. we have heard before, there may be a million -- i'm sorry, one-and-a-half billion that want to come to the united states. obviously that would overwhelm our system, and then nobody would want to come in because we would be bankrupt. we often talk about all of those across our borders illegally, but as the chairman pointed out before, 40 percent of the people who are unlawfully in the country right now came
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unlawfully and have overstayed their visas, their means of coming in illegally. does anybody on the panel believe that we should advertise to the world, if you come and temporarily on a piece of the, you don't have to leave? i mean, it may sound like a silly question, but that is a concern of mine that we may be advertising. when speaking -- and i have gone over to talk with folks about -- and they don't like the term illegal immigration in england. they have told us it is a regular migration. it sounds like -- in the way, whether it is really -- the regular migration are in the immigration, they said they have a lot of provides, if you come into england you have to swear that you will not except in the government benefits for a.
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of five years. as they said, since it is all about the best interest of our country we need to make sure people coming and contribute before they take out. would anybody have a problem if we had such a prohibition? we welcome u.n. whenever comprehensive agreement it's worked out. you don't get benefits until you are here at least five years contributing to the system. anybody have a problem with that? >> we have to provide medical benefits regardless of who we bring in. that is a must for every human being. >> okay. so whoever we bring in a bear going to get free health care, is that you're -- >> if they pay insurance. >> so if somebody coming in pays for it they're not getting free health care. >> it can't be free. it should be paid for. >> thank you. >> i would also just say, mr. representative, as you know, legal residents right now, understand it, don't qualify for traditional welfare or health
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care, so i believe that a lot of that has been resolved by laws that are in place. >> you're probably aware that we do have government agencies that actually go out and recruit people for government benefits, whether they are here illegally or legally, which is something else we need to look at. i appreciate your time. i see that my time has expired. thank you. >> thank the gentleman. the gentlewoman from california is recognized for five minutes. >> let me just reiterate the point. there is a 5-year ban on benefits fell for legal permanent residents, so they cannot just come in and get the health benefits. so that is totally a myth. i would like to ask some questions pertaining to families and comprehensive immigration reform. mayor castro, one of the racial priorities for the congressional caucus is that comprehensive immigration reform protect the unity and sanctity of families
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by ensuring that families are reunited. under the current immigration system there is a significant backlog of adult children of u.s. citizens to live in the philippines to have been waiting for 20 years to be reunited with their parents. adult children living in mexico have been waiting 19 years to be reunited with family. americans, i believe, should not have to choose between the country and building a life of the children. mayor castro, the grandson of an immigrant and a public servant, how problematic is it that families are being split apart? why our families give our economy and our nation? >> thank you for the question. this is always -- this has long been the policy of the united states for good reason. families making -- each individual is stronger. it is the basics, i think, much of the strength of our communities, the economic progress kamal progress. you know, we hear stories every
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now and then the folks who have a dying relative in another country. someone they have been waiting to try and bring over for years or someone who is here and documented here is definitely afraid of going across the border to go visit a dying mother or father and just cannot because they know what the risk is. we are stronger because we have had this family based system and part of what we have to do for folks to our citizens who are here illegally as well is to clear the backlog. many to invest to clear that backlog and make sure that we can strengthen this. >> thank you for that. and i want to ask also about the families of 81b workers, you talked about the need for our highly skilled workers, and i totally agree, even with unemployment at historically
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high levels, of large number of jobs are going unfilled because of a lack of qualified workers and science technology engineering and math, and that is why i do support the creation of a stem vises and improvements to our current employment system . in your testimony you talked about how the family members of page-one be workers or skilled workers to live as second-class citizens, was bells are not allowed to work and depending upon the state in which they live, they might not be able to get driver's licenses or open a bank account. because of this these workers are getting frustrated and returning home. out as the fairness impact our ability to bring engineers and scientists to the u.s.? does this serve as a deterrent not to have something in place? >> you know, i hate to say this, but the women in saudi arabia have more rights than the spouses of the wives of age when
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the workers. it is inhumane the way we treat them. highly skilled in many cases. in some states they connected driver's license which means they're confined to a halt. what sort of a country as this which brings highly skilled immigrants and the nasdaq given equal rights. this is wrong and has to be fixed. for they have such merrill problems. it must be fixed. >> thank you for that. you had a very compelling story about coming here as one of the best and brightest students. then he became a leader in the biotech field it to teefifteen years to get your permanent status. yet a wife and two beautiful young children. you talk about -- about certain
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solutions that could continue family-based immigration and make sure that immigrant families are able to our work together and through their combined forces pay taxes by homes and start job-creating businesses. i was interested in one of your solutions which is that spouses and children of employment-based immigrants visa recipients, that they are exempted from the employment base camps. could you talk more about that? >> thank you. when you become a citizen which, of course, in my case for example after 15 years i am now intact next five years to see if i can be a citizen. during this time, and i know people who have been through this, if you did married, for example, and i have a cali, you cannot bring your spouse into the country for five years because that is the backlog for
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families. my family is here with me. during these very long waits, there are certain states that will restrict the ability of your spouse to do so much that it becomes difficult as a family unit to continue your work or to stay in a meaningful manner. i come myself as fortunate. in 2007 and the one month for the state department with their loved it legal status was able to give employment authorization which means that when it -- my wife could get the same, but anyone on and 80 does not have that privilege. >> you're going to have to summarize. time has expired long ago. >> i agree with you completely. it is a big problem, and i want to echo what was said.
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>> i think the gentleman. the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair would ask the gentleman from texas, when i recognized nephew would yield about 30 seconds to me so that i might recognize the gentleman from texas. yield 30 seconds. i appreciate. i clarify for the record a statement made earlier, some disagreement. we found in writing astilbes a bill last year that when we extended an additional provision that allowed people who were on waiting lists for visas to come to the united states, we have to provide additional because we looked at obamacare, the patient protection and affordability care act and found that it provides benefits to anyone who is lawfully present in the united states. so even without permanent resident status this is going to be a major issue we will have to deal with as elected immigration reform because individuals on the will qualify for benefits
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which could be, as you know, as many as 10 million people, very, very expensive. i think the gentleman and yell back to the gentleman from texas >> thank you, mr. chairman, thank you, gentlemen, for being here. the issue of immigration, to me, covers many questions, not just one or two. there are multifaceted questions to be answered across the board, and i want to focus on a couple of those. we have the issue of skilled workers coming to the united states. we train them. they go home and compete against the united states. that is one of the issues that we have. specifically because of my vacation in the houston area, mayor, you're familiar, we also have the fact that the system, to me, is broken. it allows for abuse -- and am not talking about people who are coming here to better themselves
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and talking about the criminals to come in the united states, namely the drug cartels and they're operation and how they now have become so sophisticated that they can cross the border into texas. they have engaged in human trafficking unfortunately. houston has become one of the hubs in the united states for the disbursement of traffic people. we have the issue of 20 percent of the people in federal penitentiaries when they committed the crime or unlawfully and the estates. border security covers those particular issues. public like to concentrate specifically on post trying to secure the border. i am one of those that does not believe the borders secure, otherwise we would not have all these organized crime problems that have now been created in the united states. the border in texas, as you
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know, there is the ability for a person, a different subjects, to come in and cross the border daily to go to school, to work, the 25-mile border visa system. and they use some type of card similar to this where they're allowed to cross into the united states daily. do you think, mayor, because of your location in san antonio, that if we had a better legal entry visa to mull whether it is a card with biometrics, fingerprints, photographs, the different and i try things that we can put when a person comes in to the united states, slides and lives, so to speak, we know who that person is. they have permission to go to oregon for six months. if that would help the overall issue of specifically knowing who comes in and lawfully or not
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, what do you think about that? >> i certainly think that there is room for that as a piece of it. sure. i think that the use of technology and assistance that we have been developing as been improving. i would also say, as you know, and texas' included, the dedication a boost to the ground, manpower at the border has been accelerated over the last years under president bush and president obama like never before, and we doubled the number of enforcement it's a style that since 2004, apprehensions are at a 40-year low. so i would agree it is part of a comprehensive approach, the kinds of things to your talking about should be part of the discussion. that is part of the legislation. but that does not get to the issue of the folks who are here already. >> my time. i understand that is one of the questions that must be addressed, but it is not the only question that must be addressed because they're are many, many issues to made
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illegal immigration. my office because of briard, a caseworker spend more time on helping people get here the right way than anything else they do except maybe working with the military. as has been pointed out by my friends on the other side, that is a big problem where people have to wait for years to just come in the right way. that has to be fixed as well. one comment on would make of the apprehensions. i know that apprehensions may be down. that does laminate the border is more secure. it just means that apprehensions are down. you can look at that a couple of different ways. and texas the governor or state, as you know, is doing more than ever before the state to our borders security as well. anybody else want to weigh in on improving the legal the sense system so that it is more
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secure? this is a concern, as pointed out. and never go home. and me, why would they? they are in texas. why would they leave, you know? parents and antonio and houston. >> i agree with you there. >> anyone else want to weigh in on that? >> we may need a biometric id system. >> i can't hear you. >> we may love the a bile much ready system. i think it is a population of 1 million people. retinal scans and fingerprints. right now there is no such thing as private anywhere. we might as well face it. if you go to work you have to work legally. they can work. they're for the pressure on people to legalizing. >> i yield back my time. >> the chair thanks the gentleman and turns up to the
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gentlewoman from -- you tell me. california. the gentleman from california with my apologies. >> i wanted to ask a couple of questions. >> being here and having to european and what they would have to do, pay their taxes, pay fines, whenever. sometimes i think when that conversation comes up is as though that will it take a couple of months. and i think -- first of all, do support a pathway to citizenship . of wanted to know if you have some fun as to how long that would take
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? >> thank you for the question. the compromise is the fact that this is an arid citizenship. one would have to learn english, payback texas, go to the back of the line, and that is a long line the fact is, for folks who are legally applying the, that takes too long right now, sometimes over a decade or longer. so for anyone who thinks that this would be some sort of automatic application that somebody would be in a couple of months, that is at the case of all. this is a years-long process, and it is also aren't. that is an important point to be made. ♪ another area that i am concerned about and i would like to know how this might be impacting your city, a lot of research, andish your work on its foster care.
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because of the deportations that have taken place over the last few years, there are anywhere from 5-6000 children who have been placed in foster care because of parents that have been deported, children were citizens. i wanted to know if that is affecting your city and what your thoughts might be on how we would include an -- a resolution for the situation as we do comprehensive regression reform. >> in any community you have examples of families that have been torn apart. certainly i hope that in this legislation we can find a way in addressing erasion reform comprehensive we to deal with those types of situations. now remember that george bush when he was governor used to say that family values don't add to the rio grande, and that is certainly true.
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given the family together has been so much a part of the breasts of america, and so my hope is that that can be addressed. >> and when we talk our family values we have to consider this. and so one of the issues that are would be concerned about is those people that have been deported. out early reunite them? we did a listening tour in miami . i went to residential facility for her "buster use, and they're were groups of children there were arriving today in miami from california who were being sent to live in miami, some of all arab a completely disconnected from their parents, but in the environment that they murdered them. what is to happen to those kids? we are talking about resources of our country, our government could wind up supporting those children of their lives because we have this disconnected family. it is an important issue every factor in the lead to
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comprehensive immigration reform. thank you. appreciate that. i've wanted to ask you a question because you made reference to one of the previous members that the last year about the agricultural industry and -- industry. coming from california that is truly a major industry. you said something about how if unskilled workers were not allowed in the country are were removed that maybe growers would make different decisions about what it would grow. i was wondering if you could give a couple of examples because i cannot think of cops that would not require -- crops that would not require workers and alice state of cut -- state like california that he did a percentage of the venture make decisions. >> a very memorable example visiting a farm or ranch that had very large number of apricot trees that had to be handpicked. and i was talking with the farmer and asking him to combat
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this situation on labor. he said all these people are undocumented and i don't pay them very much, so i can afford to handpick the zipper cuts. you have to hand pick them. they are very fragile alford. i said, would you do if he did not have that letter force of the price went up substantially? he said, well, we are already losing money on apricots. it recounts coming into the board of seven discover. i am probably going to do this anyway, but if that happens the latest travel it's only do it, cut down all of these trees and i would plan walnuts. you put a tarpon under the tree, bring a bit mechanical shaker , shake the tree and all the wallet's follow a tarp and that -- you have harvested the tree into minutes. you still leaves some labor, but a lot less. >> okay. i would suggest that you would devastate the economy of
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california if california then only switched over to crops that did not require the labor of farmworkers. >> they will require some farm workers. but the question is, our intensive is the labor needed for a given crop? >> walmart -- walnuts. do you have any other examples of crops such in a required -- >> there are many crops that are labor-intensive and india are not. >> thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. >> i think the gentlewoman. please recognize that chairman of the immigration border security subcommittee, a gentleman. >> i want to make sure i understand you correctly. can you support a path to legal status. >> i support up athleticism said .
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short or full-fledged citizenship. >> i don't believe that is in the nation's best interest. >> the answer is no. >> i believe that up at which a full citizenship is with the congress of tonight. >> and did that as a compromise to men and curious, a compromise between what, because i don't hear anyone advocating for full-fledged of this chip with that background checks are full-fledged citizens to put up by texas or full-fledged of citizenship without fines. is a compromise between what. >> i think you would agree with me that this point the url and right now the you were talking about, these -- the fact that there would have to pay a fine, learn english, that has been worked up as a compromise between senators from different parties and perhaps house members. >> my question to you is, that represents a compromise between what. i don't know anyone who is
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advocating against that. so you represent that as being a compromise. a compromise strikes me as a balance between two competing principles. i don't hear anyone advocating for a full-fledged citizenship with no conditions at all. how is that a compromise. >> it is a compromise in my mind because senators from different parties as americans want folks to do from different parties came together and put together a framework. i am sure they had their divergent views. sabean the process and i am sure that there was more divergence in their views. bill was put on the table including what you just ate it represents a compromise position. >> what about those are currently here do not desire citizenship? >> i believe that throughout our history fed has been left up to the individual. i don't think anyone is talking
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about forcing folks. >> you do not because their is a large percentage that just want to work legally. they do not desire to be full-fledged citizens, so she wrote -- so you would not forced upon them. >> what i hear are enormous numbers of people who want to the full american citizens, patriotic people, they want to serve in the military, be productive for the country, full-fledged citizens, and i believe that that is in the best interest of the nation. i do not believe that we should -- i guess the alternative -- >> and they're is not a legal status shorter citizenship you could except under any compromise? >> a compromise measure refers to as a similar compromise. there is no compromise short of full fledged citizens of that you can endorse. >> low, of course, at the end of the day this is in your hands. >> i'm asking you. >> i know. and i believe that the compromise that has been worked out by the senators and maybe work done by the house members represents a great compromise of americans can support that.
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>> "person of the elements of the background check the you would be most interested in? what to you mean by back and check? >> and i acknowledge, i am not a technical expert. i understand you're going to have a panel that is going to deal with enforcement. >> you are an attorney. your attorney. a very well-trained attorney. so -- >> not very good and law school. >> if you were better than most of the members of judiciary to my suspect year rates were. what would you include in that pat croce? because mr. forbes ask you -- about it was a good question. if you set the bar a felony conviction store that is a pretty high standard. for those are under investigation by the bureau or someone else and buchanan may be need the level of probable cause, would you be willing to
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exclude them from this past? >> well, i'd think of what has been discussed as go beyond just folks who have been convicted of a felony. and mist and that there may be some instances, but that is decay specific. some arbitrariness and make someone has committed a crime and recognizes there are circumstances where someone presents a danger. i do think there is the way they're. this is not easy. this is detailed. it is important work, but i believe at the end of the day, the compromise, the general principles of a compromise of a more generous and are the ones that are the best option for the united states. >> my very last question because amount of time is this. this is not our country's first foray into the amnesty.
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and you talked about citizenship and all of the benefits that that confers on folks. one of the benefits of confers as that you have the protection of the law. how would you explain the folks in my district faugh to really do place a high value on respect for the rule of law while we are doing this again if it has now worked in the past? >> i think you and i would read that as many folks have said, we are a nation of laws. we draw our strength from the fact we are a nation of laws. but this in time, we are also a mission of evidence. we have progressed as a nation because we are pragmatic and the understand that these 11 million folks who are here, that this has to be addressed. it is in our national security interests, national economic interest. i do think that we can find a way to punish these folks for not coming in here legally, but
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at the same term address the pragmatic issue letters of progress. >> to thank the gentleman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. earlier the question was posed to each of you all, and your given the ability to just say yes. i thought it was unfair, but the question was should america do what is in america's best interest when talking about immigration. i guess the question, the part that was left out is do you consider a cost-benefit analysis on each person as the only factor and what is in america's best interests? if they're only going to come and be very successful business owners and create jobs, is that the only factor we should look at when determining what is in america's best interest? we can start with you.
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>> and bernice to be a balance because if we just bring people and we will create a complete mess. bringing end a crowd of highly skilled immigrants who can help this country become competitive. >> that should not be the only factor. abcaeight. >> i now have a follow-up question. should it be the only factor? >> no, it should not be. the family category does not have that criteria. ..


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